Let’s Go Rving!
My wife always wanted to take a big trip out west in a motor home. Seven years ago her dream became a reality. I loaded up our then seven children and all the paraphernalia that goes along with them as well as a seven-months pregnant wife and took off to the Wild West.
The first night’s sickness and subsequent throwing up was but an opening act of two weeks of sickness, over-population in the motor home and seemingly endless road time. When we pulled into Mt. Rushmore late one evening, the windshield had so many bugs on it; I could barely see where I was going!
Oh sure, we had a good time, hearty laughs, memorable sights and hands-on history lessons—we in the homeschool community don’t call them vacations but rather “field trips.” It did, however, help curb the tide of my wife’s appetite to go rving for a while.
Our pop culture seems to have an innate ability to mix up even the most elementary and otherwise enjoyable task like recreation. When they are told they need to get some R & R they automatically assume words like “golfing, boating or television". Ironically, after participating in some of these “recreational activities,” they end up more frustrated or tired than they were before they went. I personally know of several golfers who, after hitting their tee shot into the water, became so upset they threw their entire bag, clubs and all, in the lake as well. Speaking of water, I’ve witnessed some pretty ugly scenes between husbands and wives as they were loading up their boat after a “relaxing” day out on the lake. You may rightfully ask, “Why would someone put himself through such torture?” My response? They simply don’t know the purpose of recreation.
The word, “recreate,” literally means, “to recreate oneself.” Some modern time management gurus describe it as “sharpening the saw.” For those of you who have spent any time cutting wood, you know the aptness of this illustration; there is little more exasperating than trying to knife through a three foot thick oak with a dull chain; nevertheless, it is still a challenge to quit cutting and turn the saw off in order to take the necessary time and energy to do the very thing that will actually help produce greater results in the long run. Consider the following story:
A young man who had known nothing but city-life decided to find his own little nirvana out in the countryside. He acquired a beautiful little cabin in a wooded area, complete with it’s own pond. He went to the local hardware store to buy a chain saw to clear a few trees and simultaneously cut some firewood for the upcoming fall evenings and the coolness they were sure to bring. The clerk brought out their best chain saw, telling the customer that he could cut down 25 trees a day with this particular brand of saw. The buyer gave a satisfied smile and his credit card.
Three days later, an exasperated young man came back and slammed the saw back on the counter and protested, “You said this saw would cut 25 trees a day! The first day I cut down a mere three trees. Yesterday I cut only two. Today I worked 8 hours and got one little sapling to fall.” Perplexed, the clerk choked the saw and then gave a hearty tug on the pull rope. The saw yelled to life, flexing its 110-decibel muscle. The young man cried out in astonishment, “WHAT’S THAT NOISE?”
Does this remind you of your homeschool experience some days? If so, take heart! You need only to re-create yourself. “But how?” you ask.
Let’s look at the holy Word of God. Instead of using the word “re-create” the various writers us “refresh”:
“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.”—Exodus 23:12
“And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.”—1 Samuel 16:23
“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”—Proverbs 3:7,8
“Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love.”—Song of Solomon 2:5
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,”—Acts 3:19,20
“So that by God's will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.”—Romans15:32
God’s Word gives us insight into some of the things He instituted that serve to recreate us. They are 1) the Sabbath rest, 2) godly music, 3) fear of the Lord, 4) food, 5) repentance, 6) good fellowship. Obviously, these are much different than the world’s prescription. While there is nothing inherently wrong with golfing, boating or similar activities, often time they fall well short of their boast of renewing and refreshing us, giving us a much-needed fresh perspective for the task at hand.
As I was writing this article, it occurred to me that there is one place to get all of these—with the exception of the Sabbath—at one place at one time: the ICHE Convention! There will be great music, food and fellowship. The preaching of the fear of the Lord leading to wisdom and knowledge in the educational realm is obvious. Repentance? It’s been my consistent experience that genuine repentance and the subsequent encouragement it produces are a part of every ICHE Convention.
Only last week my family and I went to a conference, representing ICHE’s interests abroad. My entire family came back refreshed and excited. We literally participated in everyone of the afore mentioned biblical refreshing examples. It really works!
For many homeschooling parents, June signals the official end of the school year. Sure, some do some things throughout the summer, but the point remains. I pray for seasons of refreshing and recreating to come upon you as you begin to set vision for next year. I also extend a hearty invitation for you to attend the ICHE convention. It would be a worthwhile investment in your future and in the lives of your children. Let’s go rving together.
Executive Director, ICHE