Dragon-Slayer


The Lord rescues those who are desperate for Him.

A pastor at my church says he sees how I like “structure and order” in my life. Well, in my home school dad role, I might as well like vacations to the moon because the chances of either of these “likes” occurring are just about the same.

Lately my structure and order dreams are challenged by the “dragons” threatening our home school family. Dragons like decreasing income, increasing taxes, college funds, marriage struggles, kids’ spiritual health, my failing health, aging parents, and garbage on the TV and computer. Then there is my scariest dragon of all: teaching high school math!

Dads, we want to love and to defend our families. As home school principals, we are the head dragon slayers. We want to slay all the dragons (just ask John Eldredge), but the dragons are many and big. I also want to model dragon slaying for my sons, which is another challenge, as this dragon slayer gets weary and scared.

We dragon slayers need hope. We need the Lord’s rescue. He never gets tired of dragon slaying.

“Hey Pat, did the power just go out at your house, too?” Bob asked me over the cell phone. Bob is my ex-Marine neighbor, and we share a common interest in defending our families.

“Uh, Bob, I’m not at home right now, so I don’t know,” I replied.

“Well, I thought I’d tell you because somebody is in your driveway trying to get into your backyard.” Thus began my latest dragon slaying adventure.

We’d just finished up our home school co-op celebration, and Halley (18) cautiously drove me home. Thankfully, we found the “suspicious car” in my driveway was my wife’s. She just returned from driving Scout (16) to her latest theatre rehearsal. My home school wife is so busy she can’t even attend her own co-op celebration!

So, as a hero, I made the battlefield decision to send my family out for dinner, A/C, and lighted restrooms. I stayed home to defend the castle. After they drove off, I knew my first duty was to check on The Family PC.

Home school life flows from The Family PC. School papers, Internet research, and thousands of co-op e-mails emanate from this PC. I tell my kids that when I was their age, nobody gave me anything worth $1000 to do my homework. They just smile at the old geezer and start Facebooking again.

Joyfully, I discovered the battery backup kicked in during the power outage and gave the PC a “soft” shutdown. Victoriously, I called my family to share the good news. Bravely, I fired up the PC and commenced slaying another dragon: balancing the checkbook in Quicken.

Imagine the shock on Sir Patrick’s face when the second power outage blacked-out his castle. This knight hadn’t considered such a possibility and hadn’t let the battery backup recharge. He couldn’t log off the PC fast enough, and it suffered a “hard” shutdown this time. When the power returned an hour later, the PC wouldn’t restart. The PC hard drive was damaged. Windows’ “blue screen of death” said so.

The last time this happened, I spent more than forty hours getting the PC back to a useful state for my wife and kids. Somehow, my PC got the impression I have this extra time in my life.

It was 1 a.m. when I started the ancient hard drive repair software, hoping and praying something would “snap” back into place. I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. with the repair software “stuck” on a disk error a dragon.

When I awoke I discovered the repair software had completed its work. I rebooted the PC and received the same blue screen of death. The dragon was alive.

I cried, prayed, and rebooted again. Same dragon, same blue screen of death. By now I was sobbing from defeat and exhaustion, “Jesus save me!”

Like a fool, I rebooted again and tried a Windows’ “switch” that really shouldn’t have made a difference. The Family PC started. Windows started, acting like nothing had ever happened. I sobbed as the Lord rescued this weak knight once again; not because I deserve rescue, but simply because He loves me.

It seems silly, but this rescue gave me hope for all the other dragons in my life that need slaying.

Dads, are you weary from fighting dragons? Take time now to write the times the Lord rescued you and your family. Remind yourself of how He is faithful to save you.

Here are a few examples of times the Lord rescued us:

  • When the huge scenery wall fell onstage, barely missing Scout (7);
  • When the babysitter looked away for “just a second” and Story (2) fell down the stairs, yet wasn’t injured;
  • When the lady didn’t see Halley (17) and True (9) and smashed their car into oncoming traffic, but no one was hurt;
  • When Story (0) almost was born too early, but wasn’t, escaping the death his sister Bonnie met;
  • When the student missed a stop sign and smacked the car, with Belinda and the boys in it, into a telephone pole, the airbags didn’t deploy, but everyone survived;
  • When the drunk driver crashed another car into mine, killing the other man, but not me;
  • When I lost my job four times in six years, yet we never missed a meal or a house payment; and
  • When the insurance company forced $2500 in repairs on a perfectly good roof in November and the kids still got Christmas gifts.

Dads, what dragons are you facing? Are the dragons winning? Are there too many to fight at once? Read on and get ready to be rescued as Zacharias was rescued. From his song at the birth of his little boy, John the Baptist, Zacharias wrote, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has raised up a horn of salvation (Jesus Christ) for us … to rescue us from the hand of our enemies.” (Luke 1:68, 74a)

There is more: “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).

“But I am trusting You, O LORD, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands.” (Psalm 31:14-15a)

“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

“The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your loving-kindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” (Psalm 138:8)

That last verse made Sir Patrick cry again. How amazing that the Creator of the universe is concerned about what concerns me. Amen!

I’d like to hear about the dragons you are slaying. Please write to me at ImperfectFather@Gmail.com, and we’ll compare battles.

Pat Harrell – has written 31 posts on this site.
Pat and Belinda Harrell have home schooled since 1995. They have five jolly children, and the loudest house on the block.

You may email Pat at ImperfectFather@Gmail.com

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