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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Disengagement

I read a fascinating--albeit a tad disturbing--blog post today about one man's experience as he lost his faith. I think the post is best summed up in his statement, "I seemingly woke up one morning and realized that my life would be no different, practically, without God."

There were a couple other posts today which also seemed to fit within this theme... but now I can't find them. Sorry.

Anyway, I got to thinking: There are certainly days when this is true of me as well. Not just in regard to the "god thing" either, but many aspects of my life. What's more, I can imagine lots of other situations where, if the conditions were right, I could abandon entire sections of my life without much practical change aside from the fact that "I would have much more time and much less stress" (5th paragraph).

What causes such a shift? Disengagement.

When I'm not living the way God has called me to, it's little wonder that His impact on my life is rather unsubstantial.

Take homeschooling as another example.

Those who spend time reading to their children, answer the endless stream of questions, talk through those "teachable moments" and engage and spur their children onward; those people know what a joy homeschooling can be. But what of the others? Those families who do no more than turn on the lesson--if that--and let their children learn via a video or computer model--never to take part in their child's education; those parents would see very little change, other than more time and less stress, if they abandoned homeschooling in favor of a public school option.

I'm not saying you should never use a virtual tutor or video lesson. I'm not saying that sending your children to public school is the same thing as abandoning them. That's not what I'm saying.

But if you abandon something and feel not ill-effects or loss, it may have more to do with your lack of engagement than the inherent value of the thing.

Think of your exercise equipment. If I owned such an apparatus, I can assure you that getting rid of it would do nothing to my life except free up some space in my house. Why? Because I'd never use it. My abs would be just as buff as they are today whether I owned an Ab-Flex-Master-Pro-HD ExtremeTM or not.

It's little wonder, then, that people who don't homeschool look at us as if we were insane. We're just adding burden and misery to our lives. Right?

Wrong.

Sure, it's not perfect. It's not even that fun sometimes. In fact, it can be down-right unpleasant. But the more we engage with it, the more we see the benefits and the beauty of it.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Surrogate Father

10 comments:

mary grace said...

I agree wholeheartedly. The seasons when I have least enjoyed homeschooling have not-so-coincidentally been those in which I am far more engaged with some other element of my life. Bringing myself back to my priorities inevitably brings back the joy of homeschooling!

Kim & Dave said...

You are sooo right, Luke!!!

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Wow, Luke. Thanks for including the link to that man's story. Due to his honesty, it's a fantastic lesson in why faith dies.

As a former agnostic, though, I'll witness that on some other future morning, he's going to wake up and "suddenly realize" that in fact his life *has* changed because of his lost faith. And it won't be fun. Been there, done that.

Jo Princess Warrior said...

Great stuff. We won't see the fruit of out labours instantly sometimes. Homeschooling is about delayed gratification.

Cat said...

Yep.

Anytime I'm frustrated with it, I realize it's because there's been too much of me doing one thing, the kids doing another.

We unschool, so maybe it's easier for that drift to happen in some ways. We can have most of a week where everybody's off doing their own thing, then all ticked to be in each other's space for mealtimes.

Other times, even when it's bugging and poking at the dinner table, I know how bad I'm going to miss all these moments as the kids leave one by one.

Luke said...

Mary Grace, I'm glad your experience confirms my thoughts <smile>.

Thanks, Kim!

Rosslyn, your post was very interesting as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!

Jo, you're right: Delayed gratification is a reality of life.

Those are very interesting observations, Cat. I hadn't thought of that, but you're right: If you get stuck on what you're doing, you'll disengage from others and they'll ultimately bother you more. Very interesting.

~Luke

Morgan said...

Encouraging post Luke. Homeschooling can be really stressful at times, especially when/if the kids won't listen. But you're right, it can be a great thing when we're active in our interactions with the kids and spending time with them in their education.

Just another reason why we homeschool even when it'd be easier to let them do public school instead.

Luke said...

Morgan, glad the post was encouraging! Keep up the great work of homeschooling, even though it can be stressful. Relax and enjoy the journey! <smile>

~Luke

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Yup, you are very right.

Luke said...

Glad you agree, Heather <smile>.

~Luke


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