We were out for walk. It was early spring and the air was crisp. We were nearing the end of school and I could feel the fever rising in me. I wanted school to be over. My girls didn’t seem to have the same struggle. Sure, the warmer days pulled us outdoors but the girls seemed to have a better grip on all that still needed to get done.
Hanissa broke through my thoughts with a question. “Mommy, why don’t you have school work?”
“I’ve already finished my school. But, I’m always learning something.”
She looked up at me surprised, “You went to school? I didn’t know that.”
Little did Hanissa know that her question brought me back to reality, back to where I needed to be.
Many people assume work is a curse, going back to Adam and Eve. But actually, God gave Adam “work” before sin ever entered into their lives. Adam cared for the animals, named them, and cared for the garden. Eve was helper to him. They had purpose and responsibility, but they were also students, constantly learning about the world God created, each other, and God himself.
Without purpose, without responsibility, without learning, we stagnate. Even if one part is missing, life becomes stale, depression seeps in, and we become antsy, anxious for something, anything, other than what we are doing. Discontent settles over us and we often end up making poor decisions hoping they will pop us up and out of the rut that runs continually in our path.
While living overseas, I couldn’t help but be a student. Language, culture, new foods, ministry, work, and so much more required me to constantly study and learn. Daily life pushed me to be a student. Coming back to the states, I had a list filled with items I wanted to learn. Some were completely new to me, other areas I just needed to do more research and refine my knowledge. I was in the habit of learning and wanted to continue. Unfortunately, I set the list aside for a while and could never quite bring myself to pick it up again.
In the beginning, it was fine. I was learning (relearning) about life in America. But, with the innocent question of a five year old, God spoke to me. What was I learning now, at this moment? How was I equipping myself for good works? That’s when I realized my longing for summer had little to do with the desire for warmth and relaxation. I just wanted change. I needed something to do, something to work toward. Yes, I’m fulfilled as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. It wasn’t that. But I had allowed myself to become satisfied with doing “just enough” and discontentment was growing. Oh, the irony…satisfaction in wrong areas, or for wrong reasons, never brings contentment.
This month, and hopefully continuing on into the future, my challenge is to pick up my list and begin learning, again. It may start out as just 15 minutes a day of focused effort and grow from there. I’m excited to see what doors these study sessions open for me and my family as we look for more ways to serve and encourage those around us. Looking forward to time well spent, learning.