However, today I want to pose a question; what is the real value of learning?
For many students, studies are a 'means to an end', a pathway into a career or job. The late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen a very competitive environment for workers and job seekers. Increasingly this has produced a need for extremely committed work ethics, strong interview techniques and outstanding qualifications.
In my home city of Wollongong the university is now the largest business, replacing the steel industry, which itself replaced dairy farming many years ago. However, I believe that many people are missing some of the most important aspects of learning.
I believe that learning should not be valued purely because of the potential end goal.
So perhaps we should learn for the sake of learning? Well once again, while I have really enjoyed this, I believe there is more to learning than this. This style of learning still misses a greater goal than enjoyment or skills building.
It is all well and good to make plans for a strong career, or learn for the sake of learning, yet I would position further, a more significant reason that makes learning important.
As Christians we believe that God created the world, therefore when we study the world and the things in it we explore some of the wonders that God made. Psalm 19 verses 1-2 says that "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge."(NIV)
The complexity and elegance of creation are visible signs that point to the true awesomeness of God. Furthermore, Romans 1 verse 20 states that "... since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse " (NIV).
This being said (and you may have come to this thought already) this world can be bad, cruel and unfair. How can this unfair world be the creation of God who is just?
Classic Christianity teachers that the answer lies in the rebellion against God that we humans have made and the broken relationship between God and us. This sin has entered the world, and yet because of God's love for us he has not let the world be fully corrupted.
He has kept some of its glory as a reflection of his own that we might look to him when we see these amazing things.
One more point I have for you today, while God's power and divine nature are shown in creation (Psalm 19).
We have the clearest expression of God in Jesus Christ. As it is written in the book of John "No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship to the father, has made him known." (NIV John 1 verse 8).
So I encourage myself and those who are reading this, yes to read the bible and pray, for Jesus is the only way to God, and through these things we can come closer to him.
While learning about the things of this world is of some value "... the Holy Scriptures... are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ." (2 Timothy 3 verse 15 - NIV)
Alex Gillespie is an undergraduate student from Wollongong now based in Sydney.
Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed