It’s a funny thing, living in Cambridge. It’s unusual and a little disconcerting to be surrounded by quite so many academics, and highly educated people. Since moving here I’ve found I semi-frequently feel myself to be seriously lacking on the intellect front. Which is probably quite healthy for me if I’m honest!
The bonus of living in this city, is that everyone just assumes I have a degree – making the fact I don’t have one pretty much irrelevant. Except for I know that I don’t. And I know that it wasn’t really through my choice. Which sometimes makes it hard, as I chat with friends completing PHDs, or teachers, or accountants or most people really. Whenever the topic of education or university arises.
It feels a bit like I’ve ended up on Mastermind by accident, and everyone else has a specialist subject and I’ve got… nothing.
But then I was reading Psalm 111 today and had a great reminder of what I really should be concerned about knowing:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” Psalm 111 v 10
This is incredibly similar to Proverbs 1 which says:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1 v 7
Education is good. Degrees are useful things to have. We need people who can study and discover and reason well. We need doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, economists, accountants… But what we really need is true knowledge. What really matters is our attitude to God. If we don’t fear God then no matter how well educated we are or aren’t, we are fools who despise true wisdom.
Check out Proverbs 1:20-33:
20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street,
she raises her voice in the public squares;
21 at the head of the noisy streets [c] she cries out,
in the gateways of the city she makes her speech:
22 “How long will you simple ones [d] love your simple ways?
How long will mockers delight in mockery
and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you had responded to my rebuke,
I would have poured out my heart to you
and made my thoughts known to you.
24 But since you rejected me when I called
and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand,
25 since you ignored all my advice
and would not accept my rebuke,
26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster;
I will mock when calamity overtakes you-
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind,
when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me.
29 Since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.”