There have been many times I wish I could strap a GoPro camera to my chest, maybe have it hidden in my tie, and record all the moments when our students are absolutely amazed by something God has created. Recently the fourth grade class has started learning about insects. Few things can capture the attention and imagination of a nine-year-old boy like the variety of grotesque creatures found in the insect world. You can feel their enthusiasm as they bombard their teacher with questions and excitedly show each other the insects they found to feed the class pet, a recently caught praying mantis. We started discussing how we have all seen praying mantises that are different colors and it turns out that a mantis can change colors to fit into their surroundings. The look of amazement on the children’s faces when they found out was priceless! They were absolutely astounded that a mantis could do something as magical as change colors. The conversation then turned to what would happen if they stuck the mantis in a pink or purple cage.
Author N.D. Wilson, one of the first products of the recent classical education movement, frequently discusses the importance of the awe and wonder we should experience as we go about our lives. He points out that all too often our culture is completely numb to the incredible events going on around us. The excitement of the students is something we all should be feeling. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is a form of godliness. These students are experiencing a proper appreciation for God’s handiwork. And as Wilson points out, God must really like insects because He has made billions of them, which raises the question, do we appreciate what God appreciates? Sometimes 4th grade boys do it better than the rest of us. It is our goal as a school that our students will never lose this appreciation for what God is doing, even if it is crafting insects.
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.” – Job 12:7-10