Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It ranks high because I love good food and good fellowship. Thanksgiving, of course, incorporates both of those for many of us. Living in North Carolina, but with most of our family in Florida, Thanksgiving is our annual pilgrimage home to visit family and to feast together. On that day and before our meal, we each share one thing for which we are thankful. It is difficult to decide what that one thing is for we have so much for which to be thankful.
Of the myriad of things for which to be thankful, I can list, along with many other people: life, health, family, a home, employment, Christ, the Church, friends, good books, leisure time, salvation, and more. One thing that sets me apart from many others, however, is that I am employed by Classical Conversations. Not only do I have a job, but I have a job I love. In addition to being thankful that I am an employee of Classical Conversations, there are many things to be thankful for as a family that participates in a Classical Conversations community.
As an Employee of Classical Conversations
I am thankful for the many great men and women who work so hard to equip families raising their children to know God and to make Him known. I am thankful for the vision Leigh Bortins cast so many years ago and for her son, Robert, as he carries out this vision now. I am thankful for the Denton family and all that they do in making this machine run smoothly. I am thankful for the Sanford family and their contributions to the technical side of CC, as well as the creative side (Chris’ wife, Courtney, designs many of the covers and graphics for our products). I am thankful for the Shirleys, especially the work that Heather does in leading the program, production, and communication teams. I am also thankful for those teams and their members. Finally, I am thankful for the Alphs, especially for the work Mary does in establishing and equipping communities, as well as the team she has built and cultivated who serve those communities.
Most importantly, as an employee of Classical Conversations, I am thankful for those folks who serve in community. I love each and every one of the support managers, directors, and tutors serving their local communities. I am thankful for the commitment they make to serving others and for their sacrifice of other endeavors in order to serve in this one. I have been blessed to equip the trainers who train our directors and tutors and I have even had the opportunity to train some myself. I have been blessed to work with and serve as a practicum speaker and I have loved the families I have met through that opportunity. I love and am thankful for those families who participate in community, parents and students, without which we would not have communities.
As a Member of a Classical Conversations Community
I am thankful for the classical education my children are receiving. I am thankful they are learning how to learn, not simply learning to cram, test, and dump. I am thankful they are learning the tools that will help them be better leaders, engineers, doctors, lawyers, carpenters, plumbers, housewives, husbands, parents, church members, choir singers, or anything they put their mind to. I am thankful they will know how to think through issues more thoroughly than I ever have, which will help them to make better decisions than I ever did. I am thankful for our little shoulders on which they will stand so they might have the shoulders of giants on which their children can stand.
I am thankful for the Christian education my children are receiving. I am thankful they are learning that God is at the center of all of our learning, that He is the author of all we learn. I am thankful they are learning to ask questions like, “What have I learned about creation from this lesson?” and “What have I learned about man from this lesson?” and “What have I learned about God from this lesson?” I am thankful they do not have two brains in their heads as I did: the Sunday School brain that tells me this is God’s world and the secular brain that tells me this world knows nothing of a god. I am thankful they will not have the same struggles I did trying to figure out which brain to listen to.
I am thankful for the community my children are members of. I am thankful they have relationships with tutors, parents, and friends who are pursuing the same goals we are: to know God and to make Him known. I am thankful they have community in which to practice the skills they learn in their classical education—grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric—and the principles they learn in their Christian education—to love God and to love their neighbor. I am thankful they have the opportunity to see those principles modeled by the members of our CC community and that they have the opportunity to practice them, too. I am thankful they see community members praying for one another, bringing meals to one another during hardships, caring for one another, and being provided for by others.
I am thankful that our Classical Conversations community, albeit imperfect, is a microcosm for them of what the world can be like. I am thankful they can now imagine life in a community that loves to learn, loves God, and loves neighbor. I am thankful, too, that they will know how to replicate that community.
I am thankful for God. I am thankful for His many blessings and I am thankful for those things which aren’t readily recognizable as blessings, but I trust in Him that they someday will be.