Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Schedule or a Routine?

The schoolwork is finally done! You wearily make some tea and flop on the couch. You don’t see the invisible enemy, the All-Demanding-Schedule, approach you, rubbing his hands gleefully. He begins a conversation.

“Do you realize,” he whispers, “you are FOUR hours behind schedule today?”

You wince. He’s right. How did it happen?

“You overslept this morning,” he accuses. “A good homeschooler wouldn’t let little things like the baby keeping you up all night be an issue. A good homeschooler would get up on time at 4:30 a.m. anyway.”

You sip your tea disconsolately and feel like a wretch.

“Furthermore,” hisses the All-Demanding-Schedule, “You spent way too much time housecleaning this morning. Good homeschoolers’ houses are always spick-and-span and don’t need much cleaning. Think about your friend Lisa’s house!”

“But Lisa has a cleaning lady!” you protest helplessly.

“That is irrelevant,” growls the All-Demanding-Schedule sternly. “As I was saying, among other things you are also off-schedule because it took you all afternoon to get through Johnny’s math with him.”

“He didn’t understand it,” you object feebly.

“Good homeschoolers never have children who don’t understand,” he insists severely. “But if they ever do, good homeschoolers know how to give clear and coherent explanations. If Johnny didn’t understand, then you used a bad explanation and that’s all there is to it. You’re a failure,” he heckles relentlessly. “You never stick to your schedule. You let these kinds of trivial things get in the way. Good homeschoolers never even have these kinds of interruptions, much less spend so much time on them.”

“Look,” you plead, “I’m exhausted. I got no sleep last night. We at least finished all the school work — can’t you leave me alone and let me take a short nap before supper?”

“Oh sure, take a nap!” jeers the All-Demanding-Schedule. “Then you can be FIVE hours behind!”

A tear drips off your nose and falls in your tea. The All-Demanding-Schedule slips away, satisfied.

Just then the kindly Ever-Satisfied-Routine happens along! “Now, now, what’s the matter?’ he asks cheerily, seeing your tears.

“I’m a failure!” you sob. “I can’t stick to my schedule. Things keep interrupting me and nothing goes as planned.”

“Aha! The All-Demanding-Schedule has been here, hasn’t he?” observes the Ever-Satisfied-Routine grimly. “Now listen! Where does Scripture command you to have a down-to-the-minute schedule?”

You ponder. “I don’t know. But I’m sure the Proverbs 31 woman had a schedule!”

“A routine,” he corrects.

“A what?”

“A routine. A general plan for the day, not one that details everything down to the minute. Controlled flexibility, you might say. After all, do you think the Proverbs 31 woman never had to be flexible—never had unexpected company…or got sick…or had children who misbehaved and needed extra attention?” he smiles. “God is a God of order. However, rigidity doesn’t automatically mean order. Sometimes it just means rigid chaos, and it nearly always means frustration and eventual burnout.”

You exhale slowly. “So, if Johnny’s math takes extra time, that’s okay. It’s more important that he learns it than he finishes by 1:37 on the dot, right?”

“Precisely!” he beams.

“I wish I’d know this before!” you exclaim. Then you smile smugly. “Do you suppose the Proverbs 31 woman built naps into her routine?”

Written by Raquelle Sheen

No comments:

Post a Comment