Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What's next?

In my sixth grade autograph book, there is a signature from Mark S. and a comment beside it that reads, "to the girl who always wants to know what is going to happen next." He couldn't have characterized me any better. I hated not knowing what was ahead. I always asked the teacher what she had planned next. What was true then, is even more true today.

I am not a planner for every contingency just the contingency that I know is going to occur. I want to be prepared. However, homeschooling (and the Christian life for that matter) isn't programmed like sixth grade. We can't and won't always know what is to come; but that doesn't mean the outcome is any less certain.

I often find my sixth grade mindset creeping into my 45 year old brain. I fight the urge to want to know what is going to happen next. If I could just fast forward the video and know how this movie ends, then I could just relax, trust the Lord, and enjoy the journey. Sounds simple doesn't it? However, when I read the scripture, that just isn't how God set things up. Paul wrote in Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
When a birthday is approaching around our house, I will often hear the honored child say, "I hope I get a ...." They are expressing a confident expectation of something good to yet to come. They never hope for what they already have. It is always something new. The expectation gives them energy and enthusiasm which permeates the entire household.

Many of us begin homeschooling with a similar expectation. We start with a burst of enthusiasm and energy that is built around the hope of something good yet to come. But just like a birthday, we don't always get exactly what we want - at least not right away. We start to experience things that don't seem to quite fit the expectation we had in mind. Our confidence begins to falter and our hope wanes. Before we know it, we begin to question the very calling that we were once so enthusiastic about - or at the very least the curriculum we are using.

When this happened to me I wondered whether homeschooling was going to work out for me the same way it had for others. Did I really have what it takes to do the job?The answer is no. I don't have all that it takes to do this job. That's where hope comes in.

We are often reminded to put our faith in God. But we must also put our hope in Him as well. I don't know "what's next?" That is the Lord's to reveal as I put my hope in him. HE began this work in me and our family. He will see it to completion. My hope is in HIM not homeschooling.

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

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