The 7th and 8th grade U.S. History class just started a new chapter on the Industrial Revolution. As you might know, the Industrial Revolution changed the world pretty rapidly. New and ever improving inventions allowed for a transformation in the way people lived then, as well as for us today.
The steam engine, for example, revolutionized the transportation of people and goods. Steamboats made transportation up and down rivers much more efficient. It also made the railroad the king of shipping for a century. The railroad relied on iron and then steel to work properly as well. Both of those items were revolutionary at their time, as they allowed for heavier cars and thus more efficient shipping.
It must have seemed to the people living during the 1800s that humanity could conquer just about anything. Inventions and improvements literally changed the way people had lived since the creation. Interchangeable parts and factories made items incredibly cheap to purchase as well as replace, and suddenly even lower middle class folks had the means to massively improve their quality of life. Humanity seemed to be able to do anything, and I’m certain many folks thought that the future was bright with such ideas revolutionizing the world.
However, this was a bit of a trap. The story of the Tower of Babel gives a little glimpse into what humanity looks like when we begin to rely on and worship ourselves. You know the story well: humans wanted to “reach the heavens,” and thus disobeyed a command from the Lord. They crowned themselves rulers of the world and forgot their creator. As such, they were punished and scattered throughout the world by God.
Our society, though more postmodern than what those in the 1800s would have experienced, teaches the same ideas that cropped up in the Industrial Revolution. Ideas saying that humanity can overcome all obstacles through innovation and invention and that human life can be vastly improved through the same means. However, this message forgets two very important things. First, the track record of humanity says something entirely different about our ability to help each other. We are selfish and greedy most of the time. History bears out our flaws, and those flaws clearly point out that we, in fact, are not capable of truly changing the world. Second, and far more importantly, this message forgets the fact that God, the ruler of the universe, is sovereign over all. It isn’t humanity that controls the future and all its life benefits; it is God. Everything humanity accomplishes is through God’s will and sovereignty.
So I ask the question: who do we look to for guidance through life? Do we look to humanity and the improvements made to life? Or do we look to the Father, the creator of all, and the giver of life?
“I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Jeremy Boer, CEO
What is the secret to being a successful student? The answer? It’s no secret at all that students who do well in school do things that ensure that success. Here is a list of some of those things:
Sleep! We often overlook how important sleep is…and it really is! Sleep is a key factor in brain development, and we all know how it is to mood, relationships, etc. Getting adequate sleep affects our ability to focus, think, to process information. So important!
Focus! Successful students stay focused on what the teacher is saying, on the activity at hand. They take notes, limit distractions, ask questions. There are many things that can affect our ability to focus…screen time (limit it!), sleep (see above), what we eat (healthy and balanced), and more.
The basics! Successful students ask questions, turn things in on time, seek extra help when necessary. Successful students are not deterred by the opinion of others (“That assignment was too hard, so I skipped it”). In talking to students about grades, I always get the same answer…no…when I ask if they complete assignments, turn things in on time, or if they have talked to the teacher. Successful students do these basic things.
It’s really no secret that student success starts with the student! Please do all you can to encourage their success.
Mrs. Donna Veurink
Head Teacher & Guidance Counselor