Do you remember the story about that little boy who got sent to bed by his mother? He was sent to his room and told to immediately go to bed. Five minutes later you could hear, “Mooooom!” coming from his room. His mother responded, “What do you want? You are supposed to be asleep!” The little boy replied, “I’m thirsty. Can you please bring me a glass of water?” “No,” she replied. “You had your chance to get a drink. It’s too late now. Go to sleep.” Five minutes later: “Mooooom!” “WHAT?” “I’m THIRSTY! Can you PLEASE bring me a glass of WATER!” “I told you NO! And if you ask me again then I will have to come into your room and spank you!” Five minutes later: “Mooooom!” “WHAT!” “When you come into my room to give me a spanking, will you please bring me a glass of water?”
Simply put – moms matter! Whether it’s delivering a cold glass of water to a child at bedtime, putting a Darth Vader (or Hello Kitty) Band-Aid on a possibly bleeding area of flesh, or cranking up the “people-mover” for yet another trip to yet another activity – we can’t live without mom! Moms care. Moms are supportive. Moms are compassionate. Moms nurture. Moms remember. Moms are beautiful and brilliant. Moms truly provide us a glimpse of God right here on earth. The prophet Isaiah declares the word of the Lord, “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13). How amazing that the example God uses for the way he plans to comfort his people is that of a mother comforting her child. There is an old Spanish proverb that states, “An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.” How true!
Moms are also powerhouses. Whether the work be done in the home or beyond the home, you can bet it makes an impact. I’ve had some amazing mothers in my life. My biological mother is a very talented writer and artist. My stepmom put up with my adolescent complexities (I’m a pastor – so I’m not supposed to write what she actually had to put up with!) when I was still living at home with she and my dad (and afterwards as well, I suppose). As Mark Twain commented, “My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” My maternal grandmother lived with us on the farm. She taught me my spelling words, how to play dominoes, an appreciation of nature and the outdoors, and how to throw a really good fit. My paternal grandmother was a second grade school teacher for twenty-five years, and poured herself into me. My best friends’ mom gave me a home away from home, safety, shelter, and an ear when I most needed it growing up (and I’m excited to get to see her this weekend at his wedding!). And I’ve got one heck of a mother-in-law, who couldn’t be a better grandmother to my children. I’m not sure who or where I would be today had it not been for these virtuous women (among others I did not mention), and I thank God for their presence in my life.
Perhaps you’ve read the job description for a mother as it’s been posted in numerous places. If not, then I’d like to share it with you now…
“POSITION: Mother, Mom, Mama
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.”
So as Mother’s Day 2016 approaches, don’t forget to hug some necks and shout a big “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” to those moms and women in your life who made you who you are today.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Steven Bell
Senior Pastor | First United Methodist Church of Corsicana