The grit and determination of Olympic athletes have once again captivated worldwide attention as all eyes are focused on the winter games in Utah. The athletes are focused on bringing home the gold.

I am reminded of Paul’s words in I Corinthians 9:24-26: "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified."

Paul makes it clear that there is a right way and a wrong way to train and compete. We must work hard, exercise self-control, and run with purpose. Mike Farris says it well in my interview with him about the Patrick Henry College Teen Leadership Camps: "We hope to communicate not only our vision, but also the importance of getting things accomplished. People who have vision without effective action often end up being nothing more than big talkers. The blend of vision and the need to work hard to get things done to advance the Christian worldview is the real goal of our teen camps." (See the article "Changing Our Culture - One Teen at a Time .")

Home schooling provides a vehicle for us to train our children "to go for the gold" in a number of different areas. Educationally, we go for the gold when we combine everyday life with academics. For instance, Maggie Hogan, in her article "Presidents' Day," teaches us how to capitalize on this holiday, turning it into a powerful learning opportunity - a chance to emphasize both the spiritual moorings and governmental principles upon which our country was founded.

As parents we have a responsibility to run with endurance the race that has been set before us (Hebrews 12:1). We also have a responsibility to train our children to run well. "From the very beginning of man’s existence, God, in His infinite, eternal wisdom and mercy, has chosen to place human beings in families. Families are His gift to us - His divinely appointed way of meeting our needs for intimacy, identity, and companionship" (from the article "The Family: God's Defining Tool "). Our children learn to run effectively, and with perseverance, by watching us, being with us, and running with us. In "Rewind, Please " Terri Camp also reminds us that we teach our children essential spiritual lessons as they watch how we respond to the trials of life - and how we respond to our own personal failures.

Our race as Christian home-schooling parents is not an easy one. Paul’s wasn’t either. But we must keep our focus on that imperishable prize - which is infinitely more valuable than Olympic Gold.

May God grant us grace to not grow weary in well doing.