Monday, August 15, 2011

Unnatural path

Hooray! School starts today! We will be the first ones to crack open and sniff those new book smells! We will be exploring the wonders of highschool, with a thirst for knowledge that knows no bounds. We will be like Honeybun in the agility trial this weekend, streaming joyfully over the jumps she so loves to clear..... reality, we will be able to figure out how to program the online biology course if we are lucky, and begin maybe to decipher the somewhat complicated check list system of the curriculum.

I am more like a dog learning weaves for agility trials. It is not a natural motion for a dog and if they don't practice it regularly, they lose the skill. Homeschool is like that for me. Over the summer, I forget how to do it. Sometimes even why we do it.....

Then usually, within a few days, it feels comfortable again and I remember how happy I am to have those extra hours with my kids that most people don't get the privilege of having. Because when they graduate, they are gone, and it is nice to have a backlog of memories to fall back on.

At the Dog Agility trial yesterday, after 3 classes of messing up her weaves, Honeybun finally got them the first time in the last class. Asherel decided that maybe she was trying to run too quickly through the weave section. Honeybun was stressed, as many dogs are at trials, and was forgetting all the training and acting like she had never seen a weave pole. So Asherel decided to just take the weave section slowly, one pole at a time, encouraging Honeybun each step of the way. And Honeybun got them! It was slow, but she followed the path perfectly.

The disciples lamented that they wanted to follow Jesus when He warned them He would be going away, but they didn't know the way, He reminded them, "I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I have often wondered about this direction of Jesus. If I had been one of those mournful disciples, I think I would have just felt more lost and confused. I once was seriously lost in a forest as night was falling. I was terribly frightened, and looking desperately for the way out of the forest, back to the campground. If a guide had been with me and just as I needed directions, he had said, "Don't worry, I know the way out, I am your ticket to s'mores and the campfire" and then disappeared, I might have felt a similar confusion.
If you are the way, why are you leaving? It seems the purpose of a trail that leads me home is to stay right where it is, under my feet, clearly marked.  But that's not what Jesus did. He told them He was the Way, the only Way, and like it or not, He was leaving. But, He assures them, if they sought Him, they would find Him. And then He goes on to lead them step by step through the unnatural process of faith. It is a powerful chapter, John 14, where the Way to God is outlined. It is a perfect chapter to dwell on when one is frightened, or insecure, or unsure that the way set before them is a path they can truly navigate. Like a dog facing the weave poles.....

As I pop open the wilderness of the highschool teacher's guide today, I am going to hold the Bible open to that page.

John 14: 1-21
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”


  1. Those are very encouraging words indeed. And I love the picture today!

  2. Thank you Amy- and surprisingly, our first day of school is going smoothly!