Ahhhh, it’s a quiet Saturday evening. The kids are all tucked in. PJ is preparing for tomorrow. And I’m settling in for my weekly alone time. The best of Handel is playing on the kitchen speaker. The fake fireplace is glowing. I just finished a rejuvenating Pilates routine. And I’m ready to spend some time entering my favourite quotes from this week’s reading in my commonplace book. To top it off I’m borrowing one of my daughters’ beautiful new Parker pens. They were a most thoughtful gift from a friend. I’ve already warned C-Bear and Boo I might be snatching them from time to time. There is nothing like having a quality tool for any job.
Rousseau did not say, ‘We have no hope of the parents, let us work for the children!’ Such are the faint hearted and pessimistic things we say today. What he said was, in effect. “Fathers and mothers, this is your work, and you only can do it. It rests with you, parents of young children, to be the saviours of society unto a thousand generations. Nothing else matters.”
…as the waters answer to the drawing of the moon, so do the hearts of parents rise to the idea of the great work committed to them.
~from Parents and Children by Charlotte Mason~
I have read too many disturbing news articles this week that have left me shaking my head, wondering ‘where are these kids’ parents??!’ May more and more fathers’ and mothers’ hearts be kindled with a passion to parent well! What a gift we have been given. What a sacred trust.
And then there are these nuggets from The Brothers Karamozov. I’m finding too many commonplace worthy quotes in this book. (And I’m only a fraction of the way through its more than one hundred chapters!) How to sort through them without running the ink cartridges in my daughters’ new pens dry?!
Though these young men unhappily fail to understand that the sacrifice of life is, in many cases, the easiest of all sacrifices, and that to sacrifice, for instance, five or six years of their seething youth to hard and tedious study, if only to multiply tenfold their powers of serving the truth and the cause they have set before them as their goal such a sacrifice is utterly beyond the strength of many of them.
For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth.
“I can’t give two roubles instead of ‘all,’ and only go to mass instead of ‘following Him.’”
The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself. The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offence, isn’t it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill.
~from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky~
And one final one that made me smile this week as I was reading commentary on the final scenes of Joshua’s life…
Do you think anybody ever heard an old Christian say, “I’m sorry I chose God”?…No. God’s old men are all happy. The devil has no happy old men.
~from Joshua and the Judges by J. Paterson Smyth~
The choice Joshua set before the people to choose that day whom they would serve was really no choice at all. It was obvious that the Lord was worthy of following wholeheartedly. I think there are very few who set out in life deliberately choosing the wrong path, running consciously headlong away from God (like Jonah tried to do). But as I got to thinking about it, it struck me that not making a deliberate choice to follow God means by default that you slowly drift away from His plans for your life. There is really only one choice to make. The other “choice” is the one you automatically (and perhaps unwittingly) fall into by not choosing Him. It deserves consideration. There is no such thing as procrastination in a commitment like this; delayed obedience is really disobedience. It may be years before we wake up to the fruit of such decisions, but I pray I will not be deceived because I know I will reap what I sow. I want to be deliberate in choosing Christ with my whole heart.
Okay, it’s getting late, and I’m getting wordy. It’s been a cozy evening of keeping, but it’s now time for some sleeping! Happy weekend, all!