One of the great historical problems of humanity is the gulf between what's "true" in theory and what's done in practice. It has made the philosopher's pen run dry, the pastor's heart ache, and the parent's resolve waver and crack. We believe and proclaim -- and then we act in an entirely different way.
Sometimes, this is because we've been silly and run the numbers wrong. For example, many a long-haired, grass-smoking philosophy major has revolutionary ideas about how moral absolutes are antiquated -- but then he never seems to be able to take someone's wallet without spending the night in jail. At other times, the gulf between belief and practice is due to our laziness as fallen man. As the old Book of Common Prayer puts it, "We have done those things which we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done." We just don't have the resolve to stay in the trenches day after day. Doing the right thing is hard.
Transfer this idea into the sphere of classical education. At ACA, we have high standards for educational method and curriculum content. We believe that students should work hard, that teachers should be exacting (and of course loving), and that our curriculum should be devoid of drivel, rich in the high mountain air of Western ideas.
But unless those ideas become flesh, everything ACA stands for is worthless. Unless teachers consistently give bad grades when needed (in addition to the good ones) and are strict with their students (in addition to being loving), there will be no progress. Unless parents sit down with their children every day for a time of reading, quality discussion, or Bible study, the best classical Christian education possible will fail to get through.
As parents and teachers, we need an every-day faith. An every-single-day faith for the tough journey we're taking with our children. The vision of classical and Christian education is glorious, yes. But getting it done is all about grit, determination, and no-breaks-allowed commitment.
Funny thing is, that's just how our Christian walk should be -- and just how God likes to reward us with lasting joy.
Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern