The Eye of the Eagle - Vision for Homeschooling
- 2004 12 Jul
The eagle is a majestic bird that soars above the realms of mediocrity into the heights of excellence, above what is normal and expected, and into what is unconventional and exceptional. The heights the eagle attains are beyond the comprehension of the everyday robin, or the chicken for that matter: both lovely birds, though not exactly noteworthy or inspiring. So what does that have to do with us as…homeschoolers…and Christians?
The eagle can serve to inspire us and impress us to go higher in our Christian walks; but it can also serve to encourage us as homeschoolers to continue on our present path and to set even higher goals for our sons and daughters. Paul informs the believers in Philippi that the call of Jesus Christ is an upward call. We are called to rise above the circumstances in our lives, to be above average, to mount up with wings as eagles - to strive for excellence in all that we do. (Phil. 4:14, 1:10, Rom. 8:37, Is. 40:31)
There are three interesting characteristics an eagle possesses: its incredible eyesight, great wingspan, and strong heart. For our purposes, let's call them: the eye of the eagle - vision, the wingspan - faith, and the heart of the eagle - courage. These three things should be ever increasing if we are to soar above mediocrity and prepare our children to achieve the heights of success we desire for them.
I want to focus on the first of the three: vision - the eye of the eagle.
Job 39:30-31 describes, "On the cliff [the eagle] dwells, upon the rock and the stronghold. From there he spies out the prey; and his eyes see it afar off." According to this verse in Job, the eagle is dwelling on the rock, his stronghold. This location far above the earth keeps him safe from most predators. As believers, we too dwell on the Rock, our Stronghold! The ability to see afar off enables the eagle to hunt and provide for its nest. It can see its enemies as well. This remarkable eyesight gives it a distinct advantage over other birds. To live as high as eagles do, survival depends on their ability to see at great distances.
As homeschoolers, we also need to "see afar off." Our vision is what keeps us going in the day-to-day tasks required of us. I've heard it said that vision is caught, not taught. This means to keep our vision fresh and clear, we need to be around people who share our vision. We need to see and hear their passion and example! We need to "plug in" to the home school community and allow others to strengthen and expand our vision.
As a new homeschooler, it is tempting to read every how-to book written on homeschooling (and we all know there are many!); but what I've noticed is the more how-to books we read the more inadequate and overwhelmed we can feel. We can get bogged down in too many details, and forget the reasons we have chosen to home school in the first place!
Consider Proverbs 30:18: "Where there is no vision the people perish…." Vision is the secret to finding the energy, diligence, and persistence we need to finish our course with joy. As you keep your eyes on where you are going, you will find the journey getting easier.
Vision is what we see - but not just in the natural! It is what we see in the spirit. It's what we are believing for even when we can't see it. Second Corinthians 4:18 describes it here: "…We consider and look not to the things which are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal…."
Vision is future tense. Homeschooling is merely preparation for the future. I know this sounds obvious; yet I think we need a reminder once in a while. Our homeschooling journey is just that - a journey! It is a means to an end. The end being seeing our children as godly men and women, impacting their generation for the kingdom of God, and fulfilling all God has purposed for them.
I learned this is a profound way! My oldest struggled with being at home (being rather social by nature). His last few years of high school were a challenge for us all. After graduation, he went out of state to a Master's Commission ministry internship. He lived with 24 other students - four to a room. After about two months he confessed, "I sure miss the quiet times I had at home." God had used his time at home to instill in him the desire for quiet study and a peaceable existence. I believe this will stay with him for the rest of his life. He knows now that he will be a pastor and those quiet study times will be crucial! God certainly knew best! The same thing will be true of your children. God is using this time at home for a very specific purpose.
The Bible gives us many examples of men and women of faith who went through a preparation period before God promoted them: Esther went through one year of physical and mental preparation before her wedding; John lived a "set-apart" life before God called him into ministry; Moses ran from God but became a great leader; Joshua was an "understudy" to Moses who sought God even more than his leaders; and of course Jesus, who studied with his father, learned in the Temple, and was tested in the wilderness before His earthly ministry began.
Imagine what amazing things God has in store for your child! This time of teaching and training is part of that plan.
To be a true visionary where your children and home schooling is concerned, we must become eagle-eyed. The dictionary defines eagle-eyed as having keen watchfulness and being extremely observant. Keen is an interesting word; it means to "perceive things very distinctly." So then being eagle-eyed isn't merely about the ability to see; it entails having a distinct perception as well.
In Colossians 1:9-10, Paul gives a great definition of this: "[Having] full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things…Increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight and recognition]."
Ask the Lord to send homeschoolers who are further down the road than you. One relationship or family can make a world of difference. You will be reminded that homeschooling does accomplish all that you're hoping for. Pray about your child's future. Ask God to reveal to you His plans and purposes for your child's life! Write down any impressions or answers you get. Read and pray over these things often. This will also keep you focused on the vision. Ephesians 3:20 says that "God will do exceedingly above all we could ask or think." This means that on our own we can't even imagine what He has for our kids! We need Him to show us and help us to develop the "eye of the eagle" where our children are concerned.
A homeschooler for over 14 years, Sue Brage is known as "The Homeschool Encourager." She speaks and writes to hundreds of homeschoolers and currently writes a weekly email devotional called Weekly Word. She is also a full-time writer for an international ministry in the Denver area. To receive your free e- devotional, or for more information about her ministry, please visit her website, www.homeschool-encourager.com.