About a year ago I read Laying Down the Rails by Sonya Shafer. This wonderful book of quotes by Miss Mason about forming habits came to mind as I read this week's featured chapter from School Education. It's fascinating how training our children in good habits will benefit them all of their lives. The principles are basic - train up our children in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it. A habit laid like a rail is a gift that keeps on giving. This training applies to all areas of their lives.
I've owned The Original Homeschooling Series for over a year but haven't started reading it until now. The suggested chapter, "Some Unconsidered Aspects of Physical Training", is the first I've read and I wonder now why I've waited so long, just getting by on other people's quotes from Charlotte Mason. She is a marvelous writer and held my interest throughout the whole chapter!
The part that jumped out to me is "Ye are not Your Own. -- But if children are brought up from the first with this magnet--'Ye are not your own'; the divine Author of your being has given you life, and a body finely adapted for His service; He gives you the work of preserving this body in health, nourishing it in strength, and training it in fitness for whatever special work He may give you to do in His world."
This past week in our Women's Sunday School class we discussed the parable Jesus taught on the Ten Talents Luke 19:12-27 KJV. We talked about what our resources are that God expects us to use for His Kingdom. Various things were suggested, money, relationships, our fertility, health and time. As I pondered the discussion I realized that I think of my time as my own to plan out and use. I give my time to my family and spend time daily in the Word of God and welcome people into my life and home, but if I have a few moments after the children are put in bed or a vacation day, I think of what I would enjoy doing with my time rather than asking the LORD how He would have it spent - I think of it as my own (after all isn't the rest given to Him?).... It has been very convicting to me this week as I have been sensitive to this issue to see that if someone takes time away from what I have planned or want to do, I resent it. I want to begin yielding my "right" to my time to the LORD realizing that I am not my own it's really been His all along, I just didn't realize it.
What a powerful idea this is that we are not our own, we have been bought with a price, therefore we are to glorify God in our bodies! It seems this applies to every part of our life and every use of our body.
In this chapter Charlotte suggests that ideas and stories inspire children to put their own efforts into the necessary self-disciplines. One of the categories of our reading this brought to my mind is the missionary biographies we read regularly. Special physical stamina is often needed by those who live and work in different cultures. I want my children to be prepared to serve the LORD wherever and however He calls them. I hope these stories will inspire them. Funny I had never thought of habits of exercise and fitness as a preparation for missions.
I put exercise into our schedule this year, but it is the one area that we still consistently neglect. The connection between being physically fit and being useful to my King inspires me, maybe this will be the boost I need to make the new habits needed.