Recently while traveling to the east coast, I was struck once again at how different the world looks from 32,000 feet. Sunshine presided over a fluffy array of cottony-white clouds, while down below the weather was cloudy, dismal, and cold. If only we could have such a "God's eye view" of life while walking on the ground!
The same is true about parenting and homeschooling. If I had approached things with a more expansive perspective while my children were growing up, I may well have saved us some unnecessary grief. Now that I have twenty-nine years under my belt, it is much easier for me not to major in the minors and focus on those things that are truly important.
Some seemingly insignificant things I wish I had done differently:
• Allow my son to ride his bike to baseball practice when I was not able, or didn't want, to drive him
• Not worry so much about schedules and deadlines that were arbitrary and of no lasting value or merit
• Allow the kids to get much dirtier in play than I did
• Spend more time with our extended family
• Go to the beach more and have more family vacations
• Seek out more mentoring relationships for my children
It is much easier for me to say this now that I have only one child living at home and I've had a chance to see how various things have played out in the lives of my older children. That said, I still have many opportunities in my day-to-day life to realize that my perspective on things is one of many possible ones and that it is incumbent upon me to take time to truly consider other points of view.
Don't think I'm going soft in the head. My commitment to Biblical law and its application to all areas of life is greater than it ever was. But in looking back, I realize that I placed way too much importance on what I thought rather than truly considering how to apply God's word correctly to given situations. At the time, I'm sure I would have denied that charge. But as my sanctification progresses, I realize that more often than not, I concentrated on the letter rather than the spirit of God's Word, trying to work things out in my own strength rather than in the strength of the Lord.
Sanctification gives perspective. With more and more sin removed, one is able to see the bright light of the Son of God permeating throughout the whole of life. I praise God that He has seen fit to help me attain enough altitude to perceive situations and circumstances from a more "heavenly" perspective.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].