The dictionary defines the word almost as “very nearly, but not exactly or entirely.” As strange as it may sound at first, almost is a word that we are trying to curtail from our family’s vocabulary. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the word itself; the almost mindset is the focus of our curtailing campaign. 

     Puzzled? I should probably illustrate our reasoning with an example.

     We are blessed to be able to homeschool our two children in Montana.  Homeschooling, though such a blessing, isn’t without its challenges. Some days they seem to have the perfect disposition. They seem to fly right through their schoolwork and can be finished by noon. Other times, we are forced back into … well, reality.

     A few weeks ago, we were having one of those kinds of “real” days. The classes were needlessly dragging on due to lack of determined effort. Subjects that normally should take no more than thirty minutes were dragging on well past an hour. Instead of completing all the assignments, most were given just a half-hearted effort. When asked if they were finished yet, the regular reply from both children was “almost.” 

     Almost, almost, almost was repeated all the way until 5:00 p.m. when I needed to check out a house for rent in our area. The children had wanted to go with me all day, and now the moment had finally arrived. However, there was one big, glaring problem—their schoolwork still wasn’t finished! 

     “Can we go too, Dad?” 

     I thought, “Now is my opportunity to teach that lesson I’ve only inadequately conveyed during the day. Lord, help!”  

     “Well, it depends. Have you finished your schoolwork yet?” 

     “Almost,” was the duo’s expected response.

     Without missing a beat, I said, “Good! Then you can almost go with me. Bye!”   

     I got in my car praying the whole way that the lesson would be understood. It was.

     We don’t want our children to almost do their schoolwork and chores. Almost doesn’t count in any worldly activity. We get no points for almost making a soccer goal; there’s no presidency for almost winning an election. 

     This situation caused us to ponder—are we almost on the right path with God? Almost certainly isn’t good enough with God either!

 Children, do you almost always obey your parents?  Parents, are you almost always patient with your children?  Are you almost all God’s, almost His completely?  If that’s the case, then you will only almost be saved. Perhaps you might want to curtail the almost mindset in your family too.

Lloyd Claycomb