It dawned on me that my older boy will be leaving home in less than four years.
Yikes.
A bubble of panic started welling up.
Would he be ready?
Yes.  I’m sure he will.
Will I be ready?
Definitely not.
That day will surely break my heart a little.
What does he still need to learn before I cut him loose on the world?
What are the non-negotiables I still need to teach him?

The boys know how to clean the house.
They do their own laundry.
I suppose I should make them cook a few meals.
I’ve noticed they are scared of the stove…
But they can microwave the heck out of anything.
Functionally, I know they’ll be fine.
What about spiritually?

We’ve attended church all their lives.
They believe in God.
They know the concept of grace & salvation.
I’m not sure they really get it though.
Shoot, I’m just finally comprehending the nature of grace myself.
They’re still kids.
How deeply can they really understand?
How do I encourage them along on this road?

One morning over breakfast,
One of them flippantly stated he wasn’t sure he wanted to live forever.
He was trying for funny.
I couldn’t let it go as such.

I looked them both dead in the eye and said,
“Your choice is not IF you live for eternity.  It’s WHERE you spend it.”

And that’s the lead in to #88 and #89 of our read alouds.

Read aloud #88
The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Read aloud #89
The Great Divorce
by C.S. Lewis

Not our usual read aloud material.
But I was feeling the onus to cram a little wisdom into their hearts.
C.S. Lewis explains it so much better than I can.
Both books are full of truths I hope my boys will, in time, internalize.

If I had to choose one lesson for them to remember,
It is this quote from The Great Divorce:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: 
those who say to God, “Thy will be done,”
and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” 
All that are in Hell, choose it.
Without that self-choice, there could be no Hell.
No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.
Those who seek find.
Those who knock it is opened.”