Today is Karsten’s first day of school. His first endeavor out of the home into the driving blizzards of real life. From now on, there are going to be 7 hours a day, two days a week that my little boy is not under the direct influence of Chrissy or me.
From day one, we have had a long-term approach with our boys. We remind ourselves regularly that they are not ours; they belong to God. Whatever God has in store for them–whether it be disease or pain or joys or victory, we want what God wants for them. We want His influences to pervade and consume them. We are their caretakers. We must teach them to obey us so that they will obey Him. We must teach them to be sensitive to our will, so that they will learn to hear His.
Chrissy and I have the ambitious goal of preparing a life for full dependence on God (and independence from us) in only 18 years. This is an exciting day! There were so many thoughts swirling through my head yesterday as I went about my duties in the school. As I passed his classroom, I saw his empty desk, waiting to hold his little body that I love to hold.
Karsten is interested in all the peripherals of school. He’s looking forward to the playground. He’s really looking forward to lunch–he’s had his Lunchables waiting in the frig for two weeks and he can hardly wait until the glorious bell strikes at 11:30 this morning calling him to open the contents of that cellophane package. He is beside himself! Last night he asked me if he could walk to school!
Karsten has new pencil box, lunch bag, kindermat and crayons. He can write part of his name. He has an strong appetite for learning new things. He loves nature. He loves referring things back to God (“God did a great job making that sunset tonight, Papa”). He is a real sponge. But he does have a big problem.
His problem is his ancestry. A long time ago…his first father sinned. Adam’s pride damned us all to a sure destruction. To put it simply, a Saviour came and made redemption for His people and kept us from even the singe of hell, but a part of Adam’s sin remains. While Karsten is looking forward to school and learning, I had a talk with him last night that it will be very hard work. Adam’s sin doomed us to labor and an arduous existence [yes, Karsten knows what arduous means]. Learning comes by hard work. While he may have propensities that may help him in school, Karsten will not find knowledge to be an easy road, and the road of wisdom will be even more difficult.
That talk burst his bubble for a few minutes; his face was obviously disgusted with my notions, but then I informed him, that though it was very hard, it was still lots and lots of fun–that there is a great satisfaction in learning and accomplishing.
And so off he goes, making Chrissy cry, making me feel older, making me examine my heart and motives, making me examine all sorts of things about me that ought to be reconsidered.
Karsten’s taking wings. Papa’s getting grounded.