Phonics, Distractions, and the Word of God

My eldest has a way with words. He says the funniest things...that seem so sophisticated for a five year old. He is an avid inquisitor and investigator of all things unexplainable, making him a studious but easily distracted homeschooler. The rule studied today in phonics was: "if there are two consonants preceding a suffix, the vowel is short; if there is one consonant preceding the suffix, the vowel is long." It's fascinating for me, as English is my second language and I really never learned any rules for English at all. Caleb is a good kid. He does what I ask, and for the most part, has a great attitude doing it. But phonics can be challenging--row upon row of words to practice reading followed by sentences to use them in. I'm the one that gets impatient at times: "rid-ding, not ri-ding." It's not enough for Caleb to just know the rules, he must practice and practice them to know how to apply them. Even when I whoop and holler in celebration of him getting "rid-ding and not ri-ding," Caleb still gets fidgety and distracted, wanting to just hurry up and finish for the day. That's when he'll pull out some random (but surprising) comment in hopes of knocking his mother off the phonics wagon. Today it was, "Boy, I have a ravenous thirst, can I get some water?" "What did you say?" I marveled, "a 'ravenous thirst?'" I think he picked it up from Stuart Little. Later, focusing more on the end than the journey, he says, "I dare not tell you how many more sentences I have---you'll make me do more!" It cracked me up. It caused me to think: Sometimes I respond the same way with God. He diligently teaches and disciplines my heart through His Word and I show interest, obedience, and even a love for His precepts. Yet, when I'm required to practice, oftentimes failing and needing correction, I grow weary and disinterested and impatient: "Why can't You just make me not worry, God? Why can't You just make me loving and kind? Do I have to obey practice? Surely You can make this process go by faster." Sometimes we allow ourselves to be distracted and amused by any other thing than the lesson at hand. It's amazing how phone calls, laundry, a sale at the mall, or even a hangnail can be a diversion from practicing the truth of His Word. May we consider our response to our Teacher, and may he find us faithful.

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

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