This little guy (or girl) is a bandit who steals from the birds. Or, you could consider him a user, who only comes to visit when he needs something. You could think of him as an opportunist, who keeps his eyes open for things that can be turned to his advantage.
The bottom line, of course, is that he’s hungry, and he’ll go to any lengths to find food.
I wonder how many of the students who file into classrooms this week are as hungry for knowledge? Most students see school as a requirement, I suspect, something that has to be endured. Others see it as an adventure, hoping to have fun while picking up some learning along the way. Some see it as a conquest or contest, with the goal being to get as many A’s as possible. Teachers learn to appreciate and work with all of these students and seek to impart the skills needed for analyzing and utilizing whatever information they gain.
And then there are the teacher’s delights: the students who love to learn, who are hungry for learning, and who will go to any lengths — including hours in the library and deep conversations after class — to expand their minds. They may want to know how the universe works, what makes the body tick, or how childhood scripts play out in our emotional health. They may want to understand ancient history, Renaissance art, or French literature. They may get excited about computer coding, bio-engineering, or environmentally friendly architecture.
Potential fields of study are as broad as the world itself — and beyond this world. As another semester cranks up, may all of our scholars discover their hunger for learning and growing and finding ways to make this world a better place.
Lord knows we could use a big dose of that.
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.