Game Plan 1999:TNPLH Reprint
Heart to Heart

Game Plan 1999: There’s No Place Like Home
by Candy Summers

 Are we where God wants us to be? As of late, I have become increasingly concerned with our plight as homeschoolers. We began as a body who believed that God had called us to gather our precious children close to our bosom so we could love them, nurture them, and fashion in them a heart for God. Yet as time passed, little by little, the “angel of light” intercepted us by distracting our focus off the goal.
 We started with the proper perspective. For a time, we maintained a healthy balance between home and outside activities, but without realizing it, we became engulfed in a whirlwind of busyness.
 Many of us took advantage of what others could offer our children and enrolled them in a class of art, music, gymnastics, dance, or sports. But soon some were convinced that their children’s talents must be nurtured more fully; that others had more to offer; that their children performed better for their surrogate teachers; and that their children needed more socialization. So they enrolled their children in several more extracurricular classes which later led to enrollments in math, science, history, and literature classes, too. Consequently, God’s children were right back where they came from before they began homeschooling—everywhere but home.
 Certainly we have been blessed in this area with wonderfully gifted teachers who have a lot to offer, and gleaning from them is a good thing. So it’s not the classes that destroy our course, but the number of classes taken at one time. Buffets are great, but if we aren’t carefully selective in the amount we consume, we will be sick. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental.
 Others, like ourselves, were called to the battlefront. But as the battles mounted and life’s responsibilities increased, life rushed by at the speed of light and became just a blur. Distracted by the urgency of each battle and task, we lost our focus, too. We became the family whom we once pitied—those who were never at home, passed each other in traffic, who rarely shared leisurely meals or spent time with just each other.
 My mother recently said, “Honey, I love you dearly. I know God has called you for His service, but what you once balanced is now out of control. You’re on a fast train and don’t know how to get off. You have so many responsibilities and activities that your family is suffering and so are you. God loves you and doesn’t want this to happen. Ask Him to direct what changes need to be made so peace can be restored to your home.”
 My head constantly spins with all that I think needs to be done. So many people with so many needs. All I desire is good, but is it what God desires?
 When I reflect upon Jesus’ short life on earth and what He accomplished, unhurried, without rushing or running anywhere, I realize that our activity level—no matter how beneficial—is out of control and not Christlike. And I am truly convicted of this when I recall His words, “Be still and know that I am God.”
 Are you so busy, busy, frantically busy, running from one commitment and activity to the next? Are you pulled in so many directions it is hard to reach a balance? As the New Year’s tradition has it, resolution are in order as we face this new year. So let us “therefore be careful how we walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of our time, because the days are evil. So then let us not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17).
 Even though I am not a fan of football, I think we can learn something from the game. Here you and I stand facing the goalposts, but between us and the mark is a very tough and clever enemy ready to deceive, intercept, tackle, steal, devour, and destroy. The minute we advance towards the goal, he will charge us with a fury at a bewildering speed. Therefore, only a wise strategic game plan employed with courage, strength, determination, and team cooperation will ensure a successful delivery across the finish line.
 First, we should examine our schedule to calculate how we spend our time. Then with God’s help, through prayer and God’s rule book, we can strategically establish our game plan by prioritizing our time with our Lord, our spouse, our children (in listening, teaching, training, and playing), in serving, in fellowshipping with like-minded homeschoolers.…
 Unlike football, however, when injured by a powerful tackle, there is no time out. Therefore, we must put on special equipment—the armor of God. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Eph. 6:12-18).
 Let us all seriously consider what God wants for our families this year and help each other, through prayer and encouragement, reach the finish line.