real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

day 1 ~ rubik’s cube principles for life

Mastering a Rubik’s cube is based on understanding the algorithms that control the patterns and their outcomes.

As I understand the principles behind solving the Rubik’s cube puzzle, an algorithm is a memorized sequence of moves that has a desired effect on the cube, a list of well-defined instructions for performing a task from a given beginning state through well-defined successive states, to a desired end-state. Each way of solving the Rubik’s cube has its own set of algorithms. The algorithms are designed to transform only a small part of the cube without undoing other parts that have already been solved, so that they can be applied over and over again to different parts of the cube until the whole puzzle is solved.

Honestly, I had never given much thought to the Rubik’s cube until my son and son-in-law picked one up during the holidays and started researching the principles behind solving one. What started as a passing interest soon became all-consuming and many of us who observed them began to ask questions and even watch the You Tube videos, in amazement, of young children solving the “magic cube” in only a matter of seconds.

It soon occurred to me that much of life for a mom is like solving the Rubik’s cube. There is a desired end-state, whether it is tackling the laundry pile or educating a child. Experience shows us that there is a proper sequence for each task.

Doing laundry requires treating stains, sorting colors, using proper detergent and water temperature, drying, folding, ironing, and putting away.

Teaching a child begins with showing them how to eat food from your plate, then teaching them to feed themselves, learning to go potty, hearing and repeating sounds and words, talking, recognizing colors, shapes, words, reading, etc. Once you learn the sequence, keeping the end goal in mind, the rest comes quickly and automatically. The principles can be applied over and over again with different clothing to be washed or different children to be raised, whatever the task.

But this is not always the case.

Real life involves the unexpected, the unwelcome, the difficult, the disappointing; elements of surprise hide around every corner. And it is particularly so when it comes to dealing with people, who are, by nature, sinners and in need of grace from both God and man. It is when we are confronted with those things that do not fit into our pre-approved algorithms that we can make a choice. We can either lament the fact that we are not in control or we can embrace the sovereignty of God, knowing that He alone is the keeper of the “magic puzzle.”

“So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory?” Romans 9: 16-23


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