This past year, the entire world has been struggling with the fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. TKA, like all schools in California, closed its doors to in-person learning on March 13, 2020. We stayed in remote learning until October 26, 2020, when we began bringing students back to campus in two separate cohorts, rotating weekly. We have seen some countries, such as Sweden, keep their schools open, while many others moved to online learning. This article is not condemning the actions of schools that remained open or the ones that chose to close. Many schools had no choice in the matter as some governors and local health departments decided for them.
In the next few paragraphs, I would like to summarize Rev. Dr. Joel Heck's thoughts on a famous sermon, "Learning in War-Time," by C.S. Lewis, the renowned Oxford professor and Christian writer. On September 1, 1939, the world was plunged into chaos as Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, England joined the war, fighting on the side of the Allies. During this time, Lewis wrote this sermon which he delivered on October 22, 1939, at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Oxford.
In this sermon, Lewis stated that learning must go on as must all normal activities. He stated, "that if mankind had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until all of life was secure for everyone, the search would have never begun." The basis for this thought is in I Corinthians 10:31, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
Any natural activity, if offered to God, is accepted by God: all activities, if not offered to God, will be sinful. Lewis makes the argument that we must not wholly dedicate ourselves to war or other earthly pursuits, but rather that we pursue everything, giving God the glory. Lewis also stated that the learned life is the best life one can live, if for no other reason than to stand against wrong ideas in culture: "Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered."
And while it is difficult during times like war, or in our case a pandemic, Lewis suggests three mental exercises to help us during these times of crises. His suggestions are to consider self-control instead of excitement, faith in place of frustration, and soberness in place of fear. When faced with a war, pandemic, or any conflict, we should meditate on God's word. Remember His promises to us; that He loves us and cares for us. Have faith that He is in control. Replace fear with a sound mind as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
We often forget about the "sound mind" mentioned by Paul, but it is this very thing that education brings about…a sound mind. Not being swayed by every rumor or false report on COVID-19, but using our sound minds to evaluate what is true. Having faith in God, that He is in control, allows us to shed the fear that comes from rumors and conspiracies.
C.S. Lewis was clear in his sermon that education must go on even in wartime. The King's Academy has made that same decision. At TKA, we have been teaching during the pandemic. We opened our doors as soon as we were allowed, and we plan to remain open, knowing God is in control.
On this earth, we will always have conflicts. That is a promise from God's Word. As Christians, we know our home is not of this world, and our days on this earth are marked with spiritual warfare. We are not promised an easy life, but we are commanded to put our faith in Him because He has already won the battle for us. I will end with this verse, John 16:33, which says, "These things I have spoken
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