I was at my best friend’s house the other night. She had finals that week, and she was telling me how she was stressed, depressed, and just exhausted from studying and from school in general. She asked me a question that stirred my thinking. She asked me why we go to school and what the point of it is in an Orthodox perspective.
Yes, I admit, school can get very tiring. Constant worrying about tests, papers, and homework assignments can keep us occupied. It can keep us so occupied that we neglect even our own prayers. I realized that I have forgotten to pray so many times when my mind was focused on school. So, then what is the whole point of it, if it can keep us away from God?
Well, the answer to this is finding balance and going through these temptations. School is a blessing and a temptation. It is up to us to see it the way we choose. School is a blessing because it gives us a purpose in our young years. It is something that protects us because it keeps us occupied and away from the bad things in this world. It is also a blessing, because it expands our mind. All knowledge was given to people with the permission of God, and it is wondrous to learn about all the wonders of God.
However, school is also temptation. We are surrounded by people who may look at life differently than us Orthodox, and it may frustrate us. There are people who go against everything we believe in and offend what we believe in. But, here is the spin. The point of our life is to come closer to God. Well, school actually does that. School has so many temptations which we need to go through in order to learn what it means to be an Orthodox person. In school we are presented with tests from our classmates and the things we learn that truly test how strong our faith is. School tests how much importance we place on our faith. Eventually, we end up asking ourselves, “Is ten minutes of studying worth more than my evening prayers?” Well, is it? That is up to each of us to decide.