Tuesday, August 28, 2012

As I Read, I Ponder

We've begun our homeschool year - my first year with all seven children in school.  So far, it's proved to be a good year, but we are only 5 days into it!

My 3 oldest children have several books to read throughout the year.  It is my aim to read most of these along with them.  As I am reading the first two books, I am finding things to ponder.  This is one of the greatest joys of reading.

The first thought comes from a biography of William Carey - the Father of Modern Missions.  The following exchange occurred between William and the members of his missions society immediately after he surrendered himself to go to India to reach the people for Christ:
         "Yes. Go!  There is a gold mine of souls to be dug for in India," stated one of the members.
           Carey's reply:  "I will go down the mine if you will all hold the ropes for me."

A mine is a scary place to go.  One needs to be strongly supported or he will die.  If one lets go of the ropes, the burden is increased among the others and they may not endure.  If they let go of the ropes, the man will fall and, most likely, die.

Am I holding the ropes for those who've left their loved ones and homes to reach strangers across the world for Christ?  Am I praying?  Am I giving?  Am I telling the neighbors they've left behind about the God we serve?  Am I caring for their parents who are longing to see their children & grand-babies?  Am I encouraging their siblings who miss the one with whom they shared childhood secrets?  Am I, indeed, holding the ropes?

The other book I am reading is C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity.  Wow.  That's a tough one to wrap your brain around.  I find myself reading several sentences two or three times.  This author has a grasp on the English language that is unmatched...and I am struggling to match it!  However, once I understand what he's saying, his thoughts are profound.  One of my favorites this evening is this:

"...it is perfectly true that safety and happiness can only come from individuals, classes, and nations being honest and fair and kind to each other.  It is one of the most important truths in the world."

Safety and happiness only comes from honesty, fairness, and kindness.  In a word, unselfishness.  Think about it.  When our children are squabbling and unhappy, it is because they feel lied to, cheated, or someone has just been unkind.  Wives begin to question their safety when their husbands are dishonest and mean.  These principles are manifested in the home as well as in international relations.  I am challenging my children to be honest, fair, and kind on a regular basis.  Why?  Because it's the only way they can be truly happy and feel truly safe.

I love to read.  Sometimes, I love to read just so I don't have to think.  But, often, I love things that make me really meditate.  I'm praying my children are pondering these things, as well, and that good books will help mold their lives for the honor of God. 

So, go hold the ropes for a missionary and be honest, fair, and kind to those around you.  And read a good book.

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