The First School

The First School

I have been looking forward to the adult Sabbath School lesson this quarter because it deals with a topic that is near and dear to my heart…Education. As I read about the “first classroom” in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve walked and talked with God, I was envisioning what it would have been like to walk and talk with God. I can only imagine how interesting it would have been to study all the variety of trees, compare their leaves, and stop to enjoy the delicious fruit. Another day would be quietly observing animals in their habitats and marveling at God’s creation. How do plants grow from seeds? This would be another lesson to learn as God would explain and show all the variety of plants from seed, root, to stem, flower, and fruit. Are we taking the time to fully learn about God, His creation, and the gift of eternal life He so freely gives?

Growing up, many Sabbaths were spent exploring nature with my family. I will never forget Esther Wilson. She was a retired teacher in our church that loved young people and nature. “Come on out to my house and I will take you on a nature hike in the wood,” she would say each Sabbath after church. So my mom would take my brother, sisters and myself and we would walk through the cow pastures to the backwoods. Mrs. Wilson was a wealth of knowledge. She would name each flower, plant, tree, and bird as we walked along. Now, as an adult, I wish I had paid more attention and internalized all the knowledge she was giving freely. I wonder if Adam and Eve took full advantage of their walks with God in the Garden of Eden? I can only imagine the regret they felt from their decision to follow the serpent, which ultimately ended their walks with God.

One Sabbath, as we were walking under some pine trees I saw a bone. It looked like a hard ball with mud and feathers sticking to it. I showed Mrs. Wilson and she got very excited. I had found an owl pellet.  She proceeded to tell me all about owls, what they ate, and how owl pellets were formed.  I was a little grossed out to learn that what I was holding in my hands were the remains of the creature the owl had eaten formed into a nice little ball of hair/feathers and bones. Mrs. Wilson always presented nature in an interesting way that left me wanting to learn more. Is that how Adam and Eve felt? Is that what we are teaching our children and students—to want to learn more about nature and God?

I still have that owl pellet in a jar. It is constant reminder of how amazing God is. I challenge each person to take time to encounter God and His creation. He wants to walk and talk with us as He did with Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden.

Sue Nelson, Superintendent of Education