As I continue my time away from home, here's a journal entry summarizing the experience so far.
The course I'm in is an all-boys club. Twenty-five men away from home for over a week with a good deal of free time (and per diem) on their hands. Not a recipe for righteousness. I wonder if anyone in the class other than me is disgusted with the character of these men and concerned for their souls? I fight to feel compassion for them and all to easily would let them wine & dine themselves to eternal destruction without saying a word. Colossians 4 reminds me to pray that a door for the Word may be opened and to speak boldly as I am supposed to do.
Meanwhile I'm treating this as a "final's week", meaning my goal is to use my free time to work hard on church and job responsibilities so that when I return home I will be able to enjoy my family. I hope to get several weeks ahead on Sunday school preparation and other elder work. I am reminded of Strauch's exhortation that a non-vocational elder should spend his leisure time serving Christ and his church and am enjoying the extra study and prayer time and, so far, making good use of it. But the urge to relax and enjoy some entertainment hasn't flagged and at times is quite strong. At these times I've found reviving in listening to hymns (Jesus, I my cross have taken, Psalm 73, etc) and thinking of Piper's address on "Don't Waste Your Life". But even hearing a snatch of a secular song in a fast food restaurant has a frightening worldly effect on me.
Kristin is an amazing woman and continues caring for the children gracefully in my absence. God is merciful, which is my continuing prayer for myself and my family too far away.