I’m Afraid of Repeating History

Reading Galatians with my kids this morning I was struck at how little our world has changed, or learned, or progressed since the time of Jesus and Paul. All our various subjects seemed to align today with a message that I just feel pushed to share.

Paul writes that we must not allow ourselves to become “enslaved to so-called gods that have nothing of the divine about them….For that is exactly what you do when you are intimidated into scrupulously observing all the traditions, taboos and superstitions associated with special days and seasons and years.”  (Gal. 4:8,10 The Message)

A wide range of religions practiced in the past and today have these “scrupulous observance of traditions” do they not? Many government systems, many cultures, now and in the past have tied their people’s hands with tradition, so much so that they cannot see beyond them to the Christ-based truth.

Paul warns the Galatians that “These heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten. They want to shut you out of the free world of God’s grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and direction, making them feel important.”

We discussed Communist Russia this week. Through our literature reading and culture studies, we again can see the fear mongering that becomes rampant in a society where suspicion is everywhere and one fears to speak against the political flow for fear they too will be arrested, persecuted or killed. We see a leader’s need for a dependent population, making the public feel that what is being done to them is in their own best interests, when clearly it is not.

Today, we often fear standing firm in our beliefs,  standing up for our right to disagree. We allow ourselves to be intimidated, stifled, silenced, shut down for fear of retaliation or retribution of some sort. I rarely post my political thoughts on social media, for fear of being attacked, laughed at, or beginning a heated debate between my liberal and conservative friends.

How is this living in the freedom Christ promises again and again? How is it living in faith that He protects His people?

I am not an overly political person, nor do I typically follow a  lot of current events. But this week has me scared. Scared for the future for my kids. Scared for the future for our country and our freedom. We cannot blind ourselves and think it is just a war across the ocean anymore; it is changing our lives, bit by bit, as fear creeps into our daily activities and actions, and into the actions of our political leaders.

We are afraid. Afraid to let our guards down and share our true thoughts. Afraid of being compassionate and helping a stranger on the street, or a refugee into the country.  Afraid of letting our kids walk to the bus stop without us. Afraid of leaving the house without a phone in case of emergency. Fear rules our daily choices, it governs our lives. They are winning. Like it or not, we are their slaves.

Paul tells the Galatians (Gal 5:1, 2, 4), Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery (or fear) on you. The moment any one of you submits to… any rule-keeping systems, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace.”

Time has not changed this eternal, internal battle. Paul reminds us this by repeating the story of Abraham. One small act by a man tired of waiting for his personal promise from God to come true, still has consequences for my children today, as it has for all the generations from then until now.

The question is, while living in this modern age, an age of repeating history, and age of terrorism and fear, are we able to wait patiently in faith for the promises God has given to each of us? To not get impatient and force his hand by making rash choices and quick decisions? To stand firm in the faith that God has promised good to us, and that He will bring that promise to fruition?

Can our leaders, and all the leaders of the world, take time to think, to study, to learn, (to pray?) on what will be the right move? Can they allow themselves to not be harassed by the media into giving a quick sound bite answer, that they then feel bound to, for fear of looking dishonest? Can they make a choice today, and then confidently decide to change it tomorrow without being raked across the media’s coals? This is serious stuff!

We need to support the leaders, and pray for them, not do our best to tear them down. God sets rulers on the throne (or in the Oval Office). Our job is to support, uphold and pray fervently that they make wise decisions for us– both for right now and for future generations.

Fear gets us nowhere. Hate makes us bitter. The evil ones may have success for a time, but remember folks, we know the ending. It’s right there for all to read in Revelation (& Psalms & Isaiah & really, all over the Bible). 

In case you haven’t read it yet…God wins in the end. 

Can you live in faith, not fear, knowing the outcome? Can I? I believe He has promised good to me, but remembering that in the day-to-day decisions and moments of fear is tough. I work daily at living in faith and in the knowledge of His grace.

I encourage you to read Galatians 4 & 5 as a whole. There is much other to be gleaned from Paul’s words, that I cannot put into words. History repeats itself again and again. This is why we study it, or should. But when we are ignorant to the truth, miss the parallels, and refuse to see the comparisons, we only have ourselves to blame for the outcome.

Shira

 

repeating History

 

 

 

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The Boulder… or is it Barbed Wire?

So I’ve been quiet lately on the blog. I know its not new, I haven’t really gotten in the groove of finding a good time during my week to write, or to exercise, or to have alone time with God.

WorryIt seems I haven’t really gotten into a groove on anything yet in this homeschooling world.

I’m feeling a little defeated here lately. Well, more than a little.

To be quite honest, I’m feeling crushed in more ways than one.

My feelings are hurt, my heart hurts, my soul hurts.

I know that homeschooling is the correct path for our family. I know that without a doubt. I didn’t ask or expect that it be easy, that was never part of the deal. But I didn’t expect it to be so soul crushing, so often.

D told me today, that he just wasn’t one of those kids who do school. HUH? I didn’t (and don’t) know how to react to that. I have always been the kind of person who loves learning, reading, and trying new skills. Why my kids wouldn’t feel the same confuses and baffles me.

But although the sentiment baffled me, it didn’t surprise me. We have been struggling to do any school type things. He doesn’t want to do worksheets. He doesn’t want to write. He doesn’t want to put the work in to learn how to read.

It’s been frustrating because he is so smart that he can (and does) learn so easily, but to hear this from Devin, hurts my heart. It tells me that what I am doing with him for school isn’t right.

I feel like I have been pouring my time out into planning, researching, scheduling, etc. and nothing seems to really be working. All my kids want to do is play: dolls, house, kitchen, games. You name it, they’ll play it! But they won’t play those things if it’s school, if it’s planned or scripted. I just can’t seem to find the special motivating words to get them to do their actual work.

I’m on the who-knows-how-many schedule revision and hope it will work, that is, if I can get anyone else to pay attention to it. I plan and plan and plan and still, 3 days into the week we are so far behind it frustrates me so much!

Why?!!! What am I doing wrong? I know I want this process to be fun. I want it to be more than sitting at a desk all day. I want it to be learning as we go and on the go. But getting to that, to where I am ok with that, to where I can find a program that jives with that, is very frustrating and heart wrenching and soul crushing.

Perhaps (certainly actually) it is the work of the enemy, trying again to get me to waste time and be frustrated, so I give in, so I quit altogether. He attacks what is good and right. So I guess I should be flattered with the attack.

But it’s hard to keep waging that war day in day out.

Today in my not-often-enough prayer time, I found this passage that spoke loudly to me.

Isaiah 8:11

God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with the people. He said:

 “Don’t be like this people

     always afraid somebody is plotting against them.

Don’t fear what they fear.

     Don’t take on their worries.

If you’re going to worry,

     worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

The Holy can be either a Hiding Place

     or a Boulder blocking your way.

The Rock standing in the willful way

     of both houses of Israel.

A barbed-wire Fence preventing trespass

     to the citizens of Jerusalem.

Many of them are going to run into that Rock

     and get their bones broken,

Get tangled up in that barbed wire

     and not get free of it.”

Boulder ReedyCreek 13Wow.

Maybe that doesn’t speak strongly to you, but when it began and immediately ‘God spoke strongly,’  I sat up and listened.

I think my need for a set curriculum and a checklist is my boulder standing in the way of our success. It is the barbed wire that I am tangled up in; it is breaking my spirit if not my bones.

I need (and my kids need) routine. We also need a bit of freedom. We really need freedom within the routine, to play, to be free, to be kids. And I need the freedom from the checklist of what schoolwork still needs to be done today.

The Rock of the Curriculum Giant, is firmly in the middle of our path. It is blocking the way of our school success, and I suppose I need to move it aside. It is hard for me to even admit that I need to set it aside. That it isn’t working, but it’s not.

It’s hurting our relationships. It’s hurting our friendships. Its hurting our daily lives. It’s damaging our family.

But is the need to set it aside, just a smoke screen for Satan to get his hands on my planning mind again? To get me to once again, start over with the plan? To waste more time on trying to figure it out?

I don’t know the answer… I don’t know the next step. But I trust in Him and His plan for our family, I just need to find it!

Wait with me and see how I can free myself (with God’s help) from this particular barbed wire so we can continue down God’s Path.

Shira