As his children head back to school this fall, Jake Frost considers how his family will follow the Holy Spirit's lead.
Rolling to school in the morning, my crew and I engaged in a fun game of ad-libbing Christmas carols. If on that fine morning you had happened to be squeezed into a spot on the back bench seat of our mini-van (don’t even dream that you could get one of the front bucket seats: those are booked months in advance, with an assiduously adhered to rotation system of turns), you would have heard lines like these we re-worked for We Three Kings of Orient Are:
If today they followed the Star
The kings most likely would drive in a car
How did we come to be spoofing Christmas carols on the way to school on a sunshiny morning in early September?
All I can say is that fatigue and excitement will do odd things. And getting up early to head back to school for the first time in five months produced plenty of both.
Just to be going to school again seemed slightly surreal. So much has happened in our lives over these past five months that it’s hard to believe. There’s way too much to go into here or this blog-post would explode in size to rival the Federal Tax Code. But suffice it to say we never saw any of it coming. Our plans, our vision of what the future was going to look like (we were confidently certain that it was going to be much like our immediate past), were turned upside-down by forces way beyond our control. But then I don’t think we’re unique in that. It’s probably been true for many people over these brief few months.
And I have to say that those humorous lyrics we sang in jest on the way to school captures something true: wisemen follow the Star, whether via camel caravan two thousand years ago or Dodge Caravan today.
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously exhorted: “Hitch your wagon to a star.” And Spencer Walton added: “Just make sure it’s the Star of Bethlehem.”
The last few months have been an intense tutelage for my family in letting the Holy Spirit be our guide. And I have to say, the Holy Spirit has delivered. Big time. Through all the trial and tribulations, the graces have been even greater. Answers have come to prayers that we didn’t even know we needed to be praying. And answers have come which turned out to be very different, and much better, than what we “knew” God should do.
Turns out our job was to be following the Star, not trying to direct its course. And when we were willing to start trusting our Guide instead of trying to micromanage Him, we found that whether you’re following on a camel or in a car, the destination He leads you to where we were meant to go all along.
Copyright 2020 Jake Frost
Image: Kendal Percimoney (2020), Unsplash
About the Author
Jake Frost is an attorney, husband, and father of four grade-school aged kids. He’s the author of five books: Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; Catholic Dad 2: More (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; From Dust to Stars: Poems by Jake Frost; Victory! Poems by Jake Frost; and a children’s book he also illustrated called The Happy Jar.