It was another first for me, and for my son Carson. A recent trip to visit grandparents in balmy Houston turned out to be the beginning of my son’s bike riding career. After about 15 minutes of working with him, I was pretty sure it what going to take the full duration of our trip for him to catch on. I had never taught someone to ride a bike before so it was a learning experience for both of us.
But the next thing I knew, he was off and riding….all by himself!
One of the great joys of parenting is experiencing all of the simple joys of life again through our children. The beauty of a lady bug crawling across your hand. The coziness of new pajamas. The happy satisfaction that your favorite breakfast brings. The wonder of a bedtime story. And yes, the freedom and empowerment of learning to ride a bike.
I knew very quickly that one of my first jobs upon returning to Colorado would have to be the selection and purchase of a bike for Carson. The truth is I was probably as anxious to find a bike for him as he was to get one. Daddies like to give good things to their children, and I am no exception.
Well, this time around, neither Craigslist nor Walmart pulled through for me. But you’ve just gotta love Amazon Prime. Ordered a bike on Friday afternoon for $60 and had it the following Monday. (Assembly was required but nothing that a couple wrenches and 30 minutes couldn’t handle.) A meeting prevented me from assembling the bike that evening but Carson was promised that daddy would get on it when he got home from work the next day.
When my wife came downstairs the following morning, she found Carson perched on the back of our living room sofa, a location that provides a four-year-old the best view of our driveway and the street in front of our house.
He hadn’t even had breakfast, but he was already watching and waiting for Daddy. It was going to be a long wait.
I had just wrapped up an early morning appointment when my wife texted me a picture of the scene that she had captured. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and this was certainly one of those pictures. That was all it took to persuade me to delay my work schedule for the few minutes required to swing by our house and assemble Carson’s new bike.
There a number of Scriptures that come to mind when I look once again at this picture of my little boy waiting for his daddy. I want to pause upon this scene to contemplate the many lessons that it teaches us.
Matthew 7:11 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.” Now I’m not much of a dad compared to my heavenly Father, but even I can’t resist the urge to get good things for my children. The bike for
example. The joy I experience as a parent in seeing my children’s happiness motivates me to want to provide good gifts for them. Not only did I buy the bike, but I was pretty anxious to get it operational, no matter what I needed to accomplish that day.
James 1:7 says “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of light, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. I wonder how differently we might arrange the priorities of our lives had we greater confidence in the unwavering and invariable goodness of our Daddy.
When Carson’s daddy woke up that morning, there were any number of “pressing” items on his agenda for the day. But for Carson, his agenda was really pretty simple….wait for Daddy to come home. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Carson knew that when daddy got home, good things would happen. No doubt about it.
First, the tools would come out. There does seem to be an innate love of tools in boys of all ages. For the dads that are reading, close your eyes and picture yourself in the tool section of Home Depot. Ahhhhhhhh! You know the feeling.
But this time, the tools weren’t going to come out to fix a leaky sink or knock an item of the honey-do list. The tools would come out and after a few twists, turns and probably an “Oops, did that wrong”, Vualah! Carson would have a bike.
Carson’s posture of watchful repose that morning reminds me of Psalm 37:7 & 34 , which say “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass… Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it].”
Homeschool dad and mom, there’s no need to worry. Not need to get all bent out of shape over the outcome of things, including our homeschool endeavors. When Daddy shows up, (and He most certainly will for those who wait for Him), good things, very good things, will happen. While Carson inherited a $60 hunk of steal, our Father promises that we will be exalted to inherit the land.
It is certainly beyond the scope of this article to unpack and convey all off the goodness that our Father promises to us in this passage and throughout Scripture. My object here is simply to challenge all of us with the example of a little boy who believes in the goodness of his daddy, expects good things to come from his daddy, and waits expectantly until it happens.
One of the challenges homeschooling parents face is the temptation to build expectation on a system that will produce good things for us and for our children. Good character. Good insulation from the culture. Good education. Good careers. And perhaps most importantly, a good reputation….for our children too. And so we gradually begin to shift our expectation from our Father, the very fountain of abundant life, and we begin to agitate for satisfaction from other means.
Friends, the true beauty of homeschooling is found in the opportunity that it provides families to arrange their entire family “agenda” around that Person in whom and from who is immeasurable goodness.
Carson was not found waiting on the tools that morning, longingly watching for them self-activate and assemble his bike. Not that tools were immaterial to the job that he hoped would be done. They certainly were and there were certainly some tools that would work better than others.
But at the end of the day, Carson knew that what was most essential to the bike being put together was for his daddy to come home. The good thing he was hoping for depended ultimately on his daddy showing up.
That is exactly how we need to looking at home education and discipleship. I would argue that homeschooling is the best tool for the education and discipleship of your children. But I can also assure you that nothing good is going to happen unless your Father shows up.
So let us put our hope in Him alone. Lest us wait patiently, watchfully, and expectantly on Him and may we arrange all aspects of our family agenda around the One from Whom all blessings flow.