Glimpses of the Outcome

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One of my friends in Bible college once admitted to me, "I'm definitely in danger of knowing facts about God while missing out on knowing Him." This friend is one of those impressively brilliant types who eats apologetics for breakfast and can spout off intricate details of ideas I can barely even pronounce. He's someone I'd love to have around when I read stuff like critiques of prophecy in Scripture.

But like many brilliant people I know, he's busy.

And so I got to thinking about 1 Peter 3:8 and following, especially verse 15: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

Knowing what we believe and why is important. That's just one of the reasons I'm thrilled to work for Sonlight: It's great to work for a Christian homeschool curriculum company that seeks to introduce you to the reasons for and against an idea. But I've discovered, in my limited experience discussing these kinds of things, that this back and forth can go on forever when talking with someone with the opposite view.

So what kind of answer should we be ready to give? "...the reason for the hope that you have."

I struggle with this as well. Sure, I know the hope I have in Christ, but growing up desiring to follow Him has left me with a poor perspective on what good my faith has really done me. I'm all too aware of my blatant shortcomings, let alone my more hidden faults. So what, I wonder, is the outcome of my testimony, my life, my walk with Christ?

And every once in a while, I get a peek. A few weeks ago one of my friends--another brilliant individual--who comes from an atheistic background said that one of the factors that contributed to her new found faith was what she experienced hanging out with us. She said she wanted to know what it was that made us different.

I nearly started crying my eyes out when she said that. I don't feel different. There are many times when fear and trembling is the good way to describe my feelings about salvation. It's hard to for me to see what Christ has done in my life because I'm too close it. ...which sounds odd to say. So "hope" isn't exactly the word that springs to mind when I think about what Christ has done and is doing. I lose hope too easily for lack of seeing it play out clearly.

So these glimpses of the outcome of my life are precious, invigorating, encouraging.

And I wonder if something similar happens with homeschooling. As a kid, I didn't think about it. But I wonder if my parents did. Were they too close to the situation to have a clear picture of just how fantastic homeschooling was for us and our development as children? Was the fear of trying something so radically new as literature-based homeschooling something that gave them pause? Were the difficult days where we fought or threw tantrums--who, me?--enough to make them wonder if they should have opted for a different path?

I'm guessing so. But I'm also guessing that the glimpses of the outcome [conversations over dinner, funny things we'd say, knowledge that would pour out of us] kept them encouraged.

How about you? Do you catch glimpses of the outcome (whether homeschool or your walk with God)?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

P.S. I tear up every time I read Jennifer Fulwiler's Prank calls and the power of humility post. It reminds me that head knowledge is one thing, but knowing the reason for our hope is something else entirely.

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