School is starting (Alice is ready). Schedules, and systems, and plans, oh my! Whether you do school at home or farm some of that out, most moms are busy setting up a new year on a clean slate. And who doesn’t love a clean slate? These days you don’t even wash the chalk dust, just give the iPad a wiggle and -voilà! – a clean screen.
Problematically, there is no such app for ourselves or our children. No wiping, wiggling, voice command, or button will erase the sin that thwarts all those well intended schedules, and systems, and plans.
I’m only a couple days in to implementing section 1 of plan A in our homeschool and already I’ve been frustrated in my progress, blaming 6 year-olds for my lack of a cheery disposition and for otherwise disturbing the peace and comfort of all who want to learn in this “loving” environment.
Unfortunately, I’ve been lost in this familiar territory too often until I make it to James 1:20, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Ouch. Put off wrath. Check. But now I’m naked.
Looking around for something put on, I see the rationalization hamper full of dirty laundry. I could choose cowardice (give up and listen to Doc McStuffins all day), hypocrisy (make some more rules and demand outward compliance), or old, well-worn comparison (take a carefully selected sampling of “other” kids I’ve heard about and decide at least we’re doing better than that).
Of course none of these will do. Only Christ’s righteousness can cover our sin and produce the righteousness of God. How is this put on? By repenting and believing. How do we help ours and our children’s unbelief? “This kind only comes out by prayer.” Mark 9
Prayer, the most powerful, always at hand, inexhaustible resource given to help me, that I pridefully forget until a last resort. Let me be your 2014-2015 cautionary tale. Pray first, pray next, pray last, pray again. He will wipe away the tears and the sin behind them. He says:
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11