Don’t Fizzle Out
O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees.
It’s Back to School time. We homeschool in our house, and we always get off to a great start. I am so organized for my family and have great things planned. We usually try to do a field trip on the first day to take the sting out of resuming academic activities after the long, summer break. But after a month or two something will inevitably happen to mess up our schedule that I’ve determined to uphold each year. A flu, a dentist appointment, a visitor, anything really, it doesn’t take much to lose the excitement and determination to keep the momentum of the first few weeks of school going. Gradually, it gets harder to wake up early, and maintaining the bare minimal turns into the new goal for each day. This happens to teachers in regular school too; it’s not unique to homeschooling. But why does it happen at all?
Answer: We are creatures who are easily distracted, it’s not always easy for us to endure, and we easily forget. The same thing can happen to us spiritually speaking too, and the remedy is the same for both: Don’t stop doing what I first started doing.
A letter addressed to the church in Ephesus explains this principle well...
I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. (Revelation 2:2-5)
From this passage of Scripture, I see that this group of people were going through the motions of what God expected of them, but their hearts were not in it anymore. That is what makes all the difference - not only for a good school year but also for good spiritual maintenance: Turn back and do the stuff I used to do.
O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees. These words from Psalm 119:64 must be an ongoing expression in my life. Number One: Continually appreciate God’s goodness towards me. Every day, and not once but often during the day, I will express my thanks. I will go to bed at night counting my blessings just like a child is taught to do. This should be my habit so much so that it’s not what I do but has become who I am. Number Two: Continuing education in God’s will for me. Bible reading isn’t an activity for me to check off like a chore. I want to not only study it, but I must also practice doing what I read.
These are things that Believers do at first. We’re thankful, and we learn. The key is to not stop. Thankfully, God’s Holy Spirit gives us the ability and the desire to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:13) so we don’t fizzle out like a well intended homeschool mom.
Thank you not only that each new school year is a do-over, but so is each new day! Thank you for giving me continuous and plentiful opportunities to return to what I did at first. And thank you for your Holy Spirit empowering me to do so. I love you and thank you in Jesus’ name, amen.