A Seal on the Wax by Thomas S. Buchanan

A Seal on the Wax

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
—Deuteronomy 6:6–7

The pitter-patter of little feet upstairs told me that Ben, our five-year-old, was out of bed. He had been tucked in well over an hour before, and he knew that evening walkabouts were verboten. I looked in on him to see what was going on, prepared to read him the riot act. As I stuck my head into the room, I saw that his brother Stephen, age seven, was awake as well, but that Ben was back in bed. Stephen told me that Ben was afraid and had come to his bed so they could pray the Lord’s Prayer together. My usual “well, don’t let it happen again” somehow didn’t seem appropriate.

In the raising of children, it is difficult to tell if you are making much progress. Every once in a while you see small steps of progress, but in general, advancements in the spiritual life are as difficult to see in your children as they are to see in yourself. Unfortunately, you can’t get a complete view until the children are grown, at which time it is too late to change tactics.

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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.

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