The race is on! You can see it in their frantic pace as people rush through stores, barrel down the roads, dash to appointments, and “eat and run.” It’s a race to finish everything in as little time as possible, and if you’re not going at breakneck speed, you’ll lose.
And we homeschool mothers often feel even more pressure to perform.
Not only have we foregone what the world terms “meaningful employment” (whose definition, please?), but we also feel the disapproval of those critical onlookers who—rather than encouraging us—merely wait for us to mess up. And so our race gets trickier because we wear all the hats of a homeschooler—Schoolteacher, Principal, Secretary, Cook, Janitor, Guidance Counselor, Chauffeur, Nurse, Coach—in addition to the normal one of Mother.
Yet other moms we know seem to take it all in stride. Where do they find time for those cute projects, handwritten cards, and even regular workout sessions? Do we simply need to “get our act together”? They’re running laps around us in the same twenty-four hours that we can’t even fit housework into! And at the end of the day, it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can’t keep up with the pace that “other moms” set with their organization, creativity, or thriftiness.
Thankfully, God judges our performance according to a different—eternal—checklist. And what all does He expect us to accomplish in today’s twenty-four hours? We find it beautifully and simply expressed in Micah 6:8:
“What doth the Lord require of thee,
but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?”
In doing justly and loving mercy, we reflect God’s own character. But notice that He doesn’t specify the receivers of this justice and mercy. The justice and mercy aren’t invalidated in His eyes if our sole audience members are children. And what about the “walk humbly with thy God” part? We may want to spend more time in Bible reading and prayer, but what if we can barely find time now?
That’s what is so lovely about this verse in Micah. Walking is a very humble activity. It’s usually not very fast, doesn’t require any special equipment, and appears in many different forms. But it still comes down to putting one foot in front of the other, God giving His strength and us giving the will.
Walking can allow us time to enjoy the journey and take in the sights or perhaps to carry on a conversation or sing praises. It can be very strenuous or enjoyable, depending on the terrain, weather, and other factors. The walker can multitask or simply stroll, but ultimately, walking is still just walking. Not standing still. Not sitting down.
Walking is taking one step at a time in a definite direction.
But did you notice that God doesn’t specify how fast we are to walk? He simply says we must walk with Him. Does God expect us to keep up with the moms in our groups or the people from church? No, He expects us to walk with Him.
But what if . . .
We feel we aren’t getting to our destinations fast enough?
We have only the strength for one more step?
The only walking we do seems to be behind little ones, cleaning up their catastrophes?
We can’t even walk on our own but must lean on the arm of a friend or loved one?
Whatever our circumstances, His “still small voice” whispers simply, “Walk with Me.” Like physical walking, it’s a very humble and humbling activity, this walking with God. It, too, requires no special equipment and appears in many different forms. But still it comes down to spiritually putting one foot in front of the other, surrendering one care, offering one prayer at a time, and trusting that He will help us take the next step.
So maybe you don’t have time to make cupcakes from scratch for that moms’ meeting, maybe the laundry room looks like a war zone, or maybe you would be excited just to get a shower.
Whatever you’re facing, just remember that the only checklist that matters is God’s.
God told you to walk with Him, not be a triathlete, so concentrate on taking that next step. Don’t berate yourself for not accomplishing things He doesn’t require of you. Instead, reach out your hand to hold His as you walk, and you’ll be better able to hold the little hands that reach for yours.