Leif Ericson Speaks to Homeschoolers

Today is Leif Ericson day: October 9th. Why? Well, it really has nothing to do with Leif Ericson. The United States wanted to recognize the first mass immigration of Norwegians to the United States which occurred on October 9, 1825 when the Restauration arrived in New York harbor from Norway.

But that’s not the point of today’s entry.

Ericson is generally recognized as being the first European to sail to North America, landing on the northern tip of Newfoundland nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus ever set sail.

So what does THAT have to do with homeschooling you ask?

Here’s the connection. Ericson did the work. Columbus got the credit. Even the “Leif Ericson Day” we celebrate in the United States has absolutely nothing to do with Ericson or his accomplishments.

In John 4:37-38 Jesus says, “Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Homeschooling is a lot like that, isn’t it? You are doing all the sowing now as you carefully prepare the soil and plant the seeds which will hopefully produce a harvest of wisdom and godliness in your children someday. Their spouse, their children, their employer, their church, friends and neighbors will all reap the benefit of your hard work in sowing good seed.

Sometimes the one who actually made it all possible never gets the credit they deserve- just like Leif Ericson.

But Jesus says it doesn’t matter- that’s just the nature of Life. Some sow. Others reap. Some do the work. Others get credit. Some worked from the very beginning of the day and others didn’t show up and begin working until the day was almost over. Both get the same reward.

If you’re picking apples, peaches, grapes or berries during this season use it as a teachable moment to talk with your children about sowing and reaping. Someone planted those trees or bushes long, long ago. Others have pruned them, sprayed them and irrigated them ever since. But today- you get to reap what others have sown and nurtured. The Kingdom of God is like that. So is Life.

Remind your children that they MAY NOT see the immediate reward when they sow. In fact they may never see it. But on the other hand- they didn’t have to do all the hard work for other things which they simply walk up and reap. Whether it’s sowing the seeds of the Gospel, or teaching a 5-year-old to read, we do what needs to be done each day and we don’t worry about who will get all the credit or enjoy the blessing later.

Everyone in America today knows the name of Christopher Columbus. The banks will be closed on Monday to celebrate Columbus day. But who remembers Leif Ericson who beat Columbus to north America by 490+ years? Are banks and businesses closed on October 8th to commemorate Ericson’s accomplishment? Nope.

Wherever you find yourself in the Divine Cycle of Life- work diligently. Plant when you find yourself with seed in your hand and fertile soil in front of you. Water when you stumble on struggling seedlings that need encouragement and faith. And reap when you walk into a field that is ripe for harvest- both spiritual and physical.

Read about Leif Ericson today with your children and then as you tumble into bed tonight ask the Lord to help you be faithful whether you get the credit- or someone else does.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Nikki said,

    I really enjoyed this post!
    We are in the midst of studying this right now!
    I am going to discuss some of the things you mentioned w/ our children.

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