Years ago, my husband and I visited Toronto, and ended up with a day to ourselves just for seeing the sights. It was one I will never forget.
One place sounded particularly fascinating. Casa Loma, a "medieval" castle built in the early 1900's by a prominent Toronto resident, took 3 years, 300 workers, and $3.5 million to build! We thought it sounded like a great "explore", so off we went. This place, which looked as though it had been transported from medieval Europe, was beautiful beyond words. Walking through Casa Loma was a trip back through history, to a time where craftsmen worked for years to create handcrafted ceilings, walls, stone turrets and more. We drank in the beauty of each room, including the incredible conservatory. . .
Toward the end of the tour, though, we came to the small "Breakfast Room". The moment I saw it, I stopped dead in my tracks. The room itself was magnificent, but the furniture in the room was absolutely breathtaking! The dining room hutch and sideboard table were carved in such delicate intricacy and detail that one could hardly believe it was originally a chunk of wood. As we gazed at the fantastic result of years worth of careful labor, I thought about the kind of person it must have taken to create this usable, functional, yet beautiful "work of art." Obviously, the craftsman was dedicated to his work, thoughtful in his decisions, practiced in his skills, creative in his design, and willing to wait patiently to see the fruit of his labor.
The reason one almost never sees workmanship like this anymore is because of the incredible amount of time required by a master craftsman to create it - we are talking year upon year to complete ONE piece! Believe me, it is not possible to duplicate this furniture in a factory. Nor is it conceivable to produce a wooden work-of-art in a short amount of time - no "instant masterpiece" is possible. No, it is a unique, one-of-a-kind masterpiece created over the course of years, which retains its grandeur and value down through the ages.
Parenting a Masterpiece
As I considered the rare beauty of the handcrafted piece before me, the Lord gave me a precious insight—this was a marvelous depiction of what we are doing as we homeschool! Our children are NOT taught in a factory type environment, nor are we looking for "instant" results. Instead, we have taken the stand that this child and that child are worth the dedication of years of our lives. We have committed ourselves to patiently hand craft their education and their character training. We carefully seek to discover the giftings, talents and passions of our precious and unique children. We prayerfully consider the right path to take with each one. Just as the master craftsman works with the individual strengths and weaknesses of a piece of wood that he is fashioning into a dining room hutch, so we work with the individual strengths and weaknesses of each of our children, lovingly teaching and encouraging them as we recognize and work with their uniqueness.
What masterpieces of human lives are we helping to create? Only the Lord comprehends fully. I only know that just as the unnamed craftsman from long ago created—through years of painstaking, detailed effort—a work of art that still blesses people today, so we, in this homeschooling season of our lives are creating a work of art in our children that will stand the test of time. And, as Christian parents, we can rest assured that the One who is carefully crafting His work in both our children and ourselves, is able to provide all that we need to parent them skillfully.
"...Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ..." Philippians 1:6
Be encouraged! The results await!!