Imagine that you get up every day and head downstairs to fix breakfast. The trouble is: you have no idea where the kitchen is. You are hungry. Your children are hungry. You want to give them something to eat, but you can’t because you don’t know the way to the kitchen.
When Ray and I were almost home from our trip last Saturday, one of us quoted, “Isn’t it great to be back home! Isn’t it great to be back home!”
We say that sometimes after we’ve been away for a while. On Saturday I remembered that it is a line from the children’s song, “Let’s Go On A Bear Hunt.” In the last stretch before our house, I started making up words that were true for Ray and me and Ray repeated them, just as kids do in the song.
Instead of going through wheat fields and rivers and caves, we went through our own personalized places. After my silly verses, we sang together, “Can’t go around it. Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Let’s go through it.”
Through every adventure of our lives, we have the hope of going home. Even if circumstances make it impossible to go to our address, we know that ultimately we can go to our real home, the one Jesus is getting ready for us.
Ray’s been preaching most Sundays for a few months because our minister is ill. On Sunday, he reminded us that in Christ, we know:
- Where we came from.
- Why we are here.
- Where we are going.
My heart grieves for the people who “get up hungry every morning but they can’t find the kitchen.” For me that scenario paints a powerful picture of what it must be like for people who don’t know where they came from, why they are here, or where they are going. That condition, as you know, is epidemic. When I see or meet or think about someone who doesn’t know the answers to those questions, I wonder, “What is this person’s motivation?”
Right now we have just one grandchild who is two years old. He has his script down quite well. I love his drawn out Southern, “Wh-y-y-y-y?” When we parents and grandparents get to enjoy a little two-year-old who is right on cue with his whys, we do our best to answer them with sweetness and patience.
One key to parenting is to keep answering the whys in sweet, patient, and wise ways when our children quit asking the question. If we don’t have:
- Where we came from
- Why we are here
- Where we are going
in our lesson plans, I wonder, “What is our motivation?” Without the answers to those questions, what is the point? Jesus said it pointedly:
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world,
and forfeit his soul?
Jesus is kind to ask us that pointed question. What does it profit a man to gain the world world and forfeit his soul? Without the knowledge of those two wheres and a why we are women who can’t find the kitchen, shuttle bus drivers who can’t find the airport, and human beings who don’t know our motivation, who don’t know why to get up in the morning.
We can pour all kinds of knowledge and curriculum and programs and classes and adventures into our children, but if they don’t know those two wheres and a why, they are missing the vital motivation. It makes me think of what the apostle Paul wrote about bodily discipline specifically. He said:
… for bodily discipline is only of little profit,
but godliness is profitable for all things,
since it holds promise for the present life
and also for the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8
The answers to the two wheres and a why hold promise for the present life and the one to come. The wise homeschooling mama homeschools for the present life and the one to come. Our heavenly Father is the perfect parent for us to copy in our own parenting. Rest in the comfort of this verse and think about how God’s plans for us are the same as our plans for our children. Sharing those parenting plans with Him is one more reminder that we are made in His image.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”