Thursday, August 6, 2009

There and Back Again

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid . . . Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

-Mark 6:26-31 NIV

It's that time of year again. We can see it everywhere. Back-to-school sales and signs and advertisements. Hurry to the nearest store and stock up.

For the homeschooling mom, this is often cause for anxiety. She remembers last year. There were many things that she did not address, because she ran out of time. The specifics are a little vague, but she has this sinking feeling that her school might be deficient in some essential way if she doesn't organize her life and get the school room ready. From here, she is gazing at a trail that leads through the woods and up a steep slope covered with rocks and rough brush, and possibly hosting a snake or two. What's around that bend, past the point where she can see? How much should she take in her backpack? How much should she assume she will find on the trail as she goes? The choices for preparation are many, and the time is short.

A trail map would help, but none is available. The journey is unique for every family. But she can have a guide who will go with her, if she chooses. The tricky thing about this guide is that she must, ironically, learn to be still in order to benefit from his advice. She must train herself to pause before each bend in the road. She must teach herself to be quiet and listen before allowing the needs of the day to rush in upon her. Her inner ear must become so tuned to his voice that it becomes as noticeable to her as the noise of other voices. She must learn, by trial and error, that ignoring this voice leads to regrets and heeding this voice brings joy.

Sometimes she will have to go against her best guess. Or perhaps against her own preferences. But the voice will always be true. Sometimes she will have to focus to hear. Or to obey his instructions. For the voice is usually soft, a whisper or a thought or an impression. Nevertheless, she will learn to recognize it readily if she wants to. And practices.

Practicing is the key. For she has already been given ears to hear. She has to learn how to use them. He will be patient with her. He will attend to her. He will wait for her. She does not need to be afraid. But she does need to try. He can't do that for her.

So he waits, smiling, with his hand held out to her. When he, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. The promise has been made. The initiative is now hers. Every day.

I've been up that trail on the steep slope and back again. I can tell you now that listening to the guide matters more than anything else. Trust that he will speak. Learn to be still every day. Write down your impressions. Mull them over. Ask, what does this mean. Lord? Show me how to apply it. Speak to me again. I am waiting for you.

Trust that he will speak.


  1. I am trusting...thank you for such an insightful post. :)

  2. I'm not a homeschooling mom. But your post is so relevant. thank you for crafting these words like colors on a canvas for us to take in and deeply breathe...truth.


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