He Obtained Something of Far Greater Value
MANY people today put much emphasis on education, particularly university training, since they view it as being able to furnish the answers to man’s problems as well as a key to economic security. While secular education definitely has value, is it the way to make life really meaningful? Or, is something else needed? That something of greater value is needed may be seen from the expressions of those who once pursued a course of higher learning.
At a district assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in Laurel, Maryland, an educated man acknowledged: “I have devoted most of my thirty-one years of life in a vain pursuit of worldly psychology and learning. But it was from a relatively uneducated man and from a simply written 192-page book that, in just six months, I gained true wisdom and an understanding of life’s purpose.”
Concerning his educational background, he relates: “When I entered college at Fairfield (Jesuit) University in Connecticut, I was already sick of business, with its greed and cut-throat policies, and I decided to follow academic courses, majoring in psychology. It was here that what little Catholic faith I had was soon wrecked in my theology classes, which were conducted by a Jesuit priest. He did not tolerate questions relating to understanding the Bible, and his final exam consisted of multiple-choice type questions covering such trivia as: ‘How much did the cross weigh? How far was it from the walls of Jerusalem to Golgotha?’ There was widespread cheating in the classes, as the professor had used the same questions year after year, and they had been passed around among the students before the exam.
“Following my undergraduate studies at Fairfield, I attended the graduate school of the University of Florida in Gainesville, where I obtained my Masters and later my Ph.D. in psychology and became involved in basic research in brain function. By this time I found that my ten years of training in psychology was more or less useless from a practical standpoint of making a living, as there were at least ten psychologists in my specialty for every open job. I became somewhat embittered and, as a protest, let my hair and beard grow long and unkempt. My wife and I discussed moving to some faraway island to get away from ‘the establishment.’ But because of my work in the University of Florida, I was awarded a fellowship by the National Institute of Health, to continue my studies with some of the top brain scientists in the world.
“In our experiments we would destroy an area of a monkey’s brain and then compare this animal’s abilities with that of a normal, undamaged monkey. In these experiments it was relatively easy to learn which brain cells control elementary functions such as eyesight, hearing, or muscle activity. And, in fact, this had already been well established by other researchers. But I was working in the area of the thinking processes, and it is quite something else to try to determine anything relative to memory, conscience, judgment or thinking ability.
“Then, one day a most unexpected event occurred, one that was to result in a total change in my life. I happened to be in an area where the experimental animals were kept and overheard a Bible discussion between one of the animal keepers and his co-worker. I couldn’t resist entering into the conversation and tried to dismiss the Bible as of no authority. But I found that . . . the animal keeper’s Bible-based reasoning was clear, simple and logical. I learned that he had only recently become one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Although I had a vague bit of information or misinformation about Jehovah’s witnesses, I had never before talked with one. I found myself wanting to believe as he did.”
As to the final result, he continues: “Now my wife and I rejoice to engage in preaching with other witnesses of Jehovah. After all my years of fruitless research for knowledge and wisdom, I can, with the apostle Paul, express my feelings according to Romans 11:33: ‘Oh the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and past tracing out his ways are! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?”’”
Truly, an accurate knowledge of God’s Word and the living in harmony therewith are of far greater value than the best education the world can offer.