Homeschooling and the Church 1

            Eons ago, I was serving as a summer pastor at Matinicus Island, ME (as in Keep the Light House Burning Abby!, by Peter and Connie Koop). I was  with my whole family, Karen, my wife, and our four children. Summer pastors served congregations for a month or two and for payment we were able to live in the parsonage rent free.

            My duties were pretty light. I preached on Sunday and handled emergencies. But most days we were free to explore this exotic paradise, full of exotic Puffins who delighted us with their reticent composures and dark Russian U-Boats who lingered off the coast in Cold War stealth.

            Almost every day we loaded up our backpacks, and three year old Peter, our youngest son, on our backs and headed to the beach (about a mile away). We aggressively negotiated with Peter him to be a big boy and walk a little. Being a good natured child, he always succumbed to our approbation.

            And he walked for about a mile, bless his heart! Despite occasional excursions–like a  butterfly expedition–and an inconvenient potty break–a task at this stage of his life was generally relegated to the male member of the team (me!). But we made pretty good time and Peter walked with no more encouragement than the nudging of his older sister.

            Inevitably, though, about 100 yards from the beach, Peter began to cry,  “I am tired daddy I am tired!”  Peter, even at age 3 knew that his dad’s commitment to character building, if it meant necessary suffering, was much more fragile than his good mother, and he also took advantage of my detestation of his lamentation.

            So I carried Peter in my arms.

            But my humane intervention could not diminish, much less abrogate, his weeping. In fact, the closer we got to the beach, Peter became even more agitated.

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