Teen Challenge sang for us in church today, reminding me as they do every year of the joy I felt as a new Christian. Maybe they came to First Congregational feeling out of place, but during Sunday School Robbo stood and said what we all felt: “You come with testimonies of rescue from drug and alcohol abuse, but I just want you to know there are hundreds of stories in this room. Just like you, we owe everything to Jesus.” They learn over 400 Scripture verses before they graduate. I want to make sure we review and teach some key verses this summer.
This evening the eight of us went out for soft serve ice cream, and when we left we were a noisy bunch, full of beans. As we drove home through the newly plowed corn field, we noticed six Canada geese stepping through the furrows. Immediately someone started the goose theme from Aristocats. Robbo and I joined the six kids as we improvised on the basic rift. I called out the chords–I, IV, I, V, IV, I, V7–as we went, knowing full well they didn’t really know what I meant. They ignored me. When we got home and burst out of the van laughing and singing “Time to Say Goodbye” operatically, I called them to the piano and banged out the chords, teaching. Then I quizzed them, noticing that Barnaby always nailed it. How about if I teach them some basic ear training? I also want to pull out hymnals at each supper and teach part singing. I would love to send that rare morsel, a tenor, into the world. Let’s learn some music over the next few months.
This summer I want to emphasize service to one another in Jesus’ name, performed in gratitude and obedience. Maybe it will begin as obedience to Robbo and me, but I hope to cultivate a sense of serving the Lord, and not man, in all they do. With me so busy with my Classical Conversations responsibilities, I have left important housekeeping and financial tasks undone, and these kids have been allowed to entertain themselves instead of filling in the gaps. It will do us all good to work hard in service to the family and others now that lessons are winding down. I know I will feel much better if the clutter disappears! One area I will tackle is learning how to make good conversation at the dinner table. No more fluff! No more blather! Even if they do inherit Grandpa’s gift for blarney they can channel it in more edifying directions. The art of conversation is a service to others worth learning well.
So, the school year ends and our routine changes. But we’ll still be learning our lessons. And we’ll do it the classical way: drill the grammar, make the connections, and then apply it in wisdom. As do all of God’s mothers, I will have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the truth.