Friday, November 12, 2004
You and I Drive Different Cars
"What kind of car do you drive?" What kind of car do I drive? But I was asking You about why the world needs so many different churches... I don't understand. "What kind of car do you drive?" Oh! Now I get it!
The dialogue occurred one day during a brief quiet time with God. I have been reminded of it in many situations since that time. You and I attend different churches. You and I utilize different homeschooling methods. You and I allow our children to be involved in different activities. You and I drive different cars.
Power windows, power locks, manual transmission, 4-wheel drive, power steering, leather seats, heated seats, DVD player, cup holders, luggage rack, dual gas tanks, automatic headlights. Some features may be luxuries; some features may be necessities. What may be a luxury in my life may be a necessity in your life. You and I drive different cars.
Perhaps I should feel guilty that I drive a minivan, because there are now rarely more than 3 people occupying it. But I know that the rest of the space is often used for hauling cargo: 1 or 2 guitars, my electric bass, my son's djembe drum, my daughter's clean laundry, and the furniture and household items as a child moves to or from college or apartment. Perhaps you have been criticized for driving a "gas-guzzling" SUV, but your critics do not stop to consider that few vehicles are equipped to carry your entire family of 10. You and I drive different cars.
Sometimes my "necessities" have shifted, depending on life's circumstances. At one time, my children eagerly participated in "youth" events. At other times, we have avoided such groups like the plague. The deciding factors related to our family's values: is this event family-friendly; does the sponsoring group try to usurp parental authority; do my children's attitudes undergo a negative change when they are involved with this activity? Does this "car" have the features I really need?
Just because something is a priority for me does not mean it has to be a priority for you. As long as we are all moving forward in our chosen directions, we should not put ourselves under the unnecessary guilt of traveling at the exact same speed as others or with all the exact same baggage. You and I have both chosen to homeschool, and we both easily recognize the ways that make us different from those who do not homeschool. What is not so easily recognizable is how we are different from each other. You may not want to use all the same methods with your children that I use with my children, but that in itself does not make either of us "wrong." It simply means that each of us can see what needs our families have, and you and I are each doing our best to meet those needs. Guilt-Free Homeschooling is achieved by recognizing that you and I drive different cars.
Posted by Carolyn M @ 11:37 AM |