There is an article circulating amongst homeschoolers that discuss the rates in which some homeschooled children are ‘abandoning ship’. It makes some very good points. One of the points it makes is that many families are on their family ship and instead of having a destination, they’re just moored off shore. Yes, it is away from the temptations and evils of port but what kind of life and existence is it for the children? They need a destination. A goal. Life is about more than avoiding evil. Life is to be lived!
This made me think of the mid-life crises that men are well known for having. A man wakes up one morning, walks out on his wife and children, buys a sports car, and takes off on a cross-country road trip with a cute blonde bombshell. Meanwhile everyone is in shock. Now “godly homeschool fathers” may not do this. I’ve noticed that instead they sometimes become irritable, nervous about money, often becoming fascinated with online gaming with their big game systems, and similar things. They’re faithful to their wives and don’t break the bank but they stil do go to an extreme. Women lose weight, or get a part time job, start baking bread or quit baking bread. It seems like they want CHANGE with capital letters and many exclamation points.
I wonder, however, if it isn’t a similar problem across the board. Kids jump ship because they don’t see that their family is going anywhere. They don’t see a goal, a dream, or any reason to keep plugging along. They wake up in the morning and their goal for the day is simply not to be sullied by the world. Whoop-dee-doo. If you aren’t in a position where the world can sully you, this isn’t much of a job. Take pot shots at the occasional flounder that attempts to jump IN the ship and scrub off a bit of sea gull doo and your day is complete. What a glorious life. Blech.
Don’t get me wrong, days like that are BLESSINGS in the lives of people who are docked in the harbor and mingle in and out of the world on a daily basis. They need days where the worst they have to do is swab the deck or scrape a barnacle or two from the hull. As a diversion from a busy life full of work and striving toward whatever goal it is, occasional maintenance days are a reprieve.
But they have a goal. Whatever it is, they have a goal. It might be simple, or it could be complex. It doesn’t matter really, but if every day is just something to be survived and that alone is the success, ittwon’t work. Not in our country. Life isn’t about basic survival here in America. Life is about dominion in a different realm. We’re here to take the world for Christ. We’re here to be a balm on the hurting masses around us. We’re here to DO and BE. We’re not here to tread water.
And I think this is the problem. I think we’ve got families of water treaders. Sometimes the children get a vision. Whether it is for a business, a ministry, or hobby doesn’t really matter. Kids are resilient and adapatable. Many times, if given half a chance, they’ll create their own vision. I’m thinking of the moms right now. Yes, the original tale was about the droves of chidlren ‘jumping ship’. But what about moms? Why are moms burned out? Why are moms so very depressed? Why is it that so many wives and mothers are on a hampster wheel wearing out and never getting anywhere?
Is it because we’ve lost our vision? Do we need a reminder of the GOAL? Do we need something besides the here and now to get us through the here and now? Is it possible that in the middle of changing diapers, scrubbing toilets, doing dishes, and listening to the sputtering monotone of a beginning reader we need something more than just bed time to get us through the afternoon?
What is our goal? I’d say we all have different ones. Some might be a brighter future for their children. Some might be a heart for the lost or a haven amongst the lost of this worl. It can be a million different things but if another day under our belt is all we have going for us, we’ll eventually quit. Mentally, physically, or emotionally, we’ll quit. We can’t keep up an unsatisfying lifestyle forever. Eventually we have to rise above and do more.
What is the “more” that you need to do? Do you need to learn something new? Conquer an old habit? Remember the GOAL amid the trenches? What is it? I imagine that if you have bad days like the rest of us, there is probably something missing. Either you need to prune the extraneous to make time for the important, or you need to set goals so that you have tangible evidence for the finish line. Who wants to run a 500 mile race and not have a clue how many miles you’ve conquered! We need to feel the sweet victory that comes with success.
We all do. Even moms.