This week, for a welcome change, we will celebrate two very significant holidays.
One is the National Day of Prayer. This holiday — although not an official take-a-day-off-work type of holiday — is significant in that as a nation we gather (perhaps, in many places, at a socially-distanced pace) to pray for our leaders and for our nation as a whole.
It is an important day in which we as a nation recognize our absolute dependence upon God for our life and our liberty, and publicly and privately turn to Him for His special touch upon us.
We cannot live as we live, do what we do, without depending upon Him in every way.
But the second holiday is also important – very important: this coming weekend is Mother’s Day, a national holiday where we honor the memory and the contributions of our mothers.
Even aside from the very life and breath we breathe, we owe them a lot, don’t we?
Proverbs tells us that “her worth is far above jewels.” That means that she – an excellent wife and mother – is a pretty valuable commodity!
Some years ago, I compiled a tribute to my own mother as well as to my wife who is the amazing mother to our children as a special edition of this article. With your tolerance and forgiveness, I would like to share some portions of that article with you today.
In an anonymously-written article entitled “Things Only a Mon Can Teach,” the author pinpointed several key examples of the things my Mom taught me, and I suspect yours did you as well.
My Mother taught me about:
Anticipation: “Just wait until your father gets home.”
Receiving: “You’re going to get it when we get home!”
Meeting a challenge: “What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you…Don’t talk back to me!”
Logic: “Because I said so, that’s why.” And “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.”
Medical science: “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”
Thinking ahead:: “If you don’t pass your spelling test, you’ll never get a good job.”
ESP: “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you’re cold?”
Humor: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
How to become an adult: “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”
Sex: “How do you think you got here?”
Genetics: You’re just like your father.”
Roots: “Do you think you were born in a barn?”
Wisdom of age: “When you get to be my age, you will understand.”
Justice: “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you. Then you’ll see what it’s like.”
Religion: “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
Time travel: “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
Foresight: “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
Irony: “Keep crying and I’ll *give* you something to cry about.”
Osmosis: “Shut your mouth and eat your supper!”
Contortionism: “Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”
Stamina: “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is finished.”
Weather: “It looks as if a tornado swept through your room.”
Physics problems: “If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you, would you listen then?”
Hypocrisy: “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times: Don’t exaggerate!”
The circle of life: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”
Behavior modification: “Stop acting like your father!”
Envy: “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do!”
But there are actually a couple more things my mother taught me that are actually true to life and realistic.
My mother taught me about God. When I was just a boy, she showed me how to know Jesus as my Personal Savior. And my mother taught me about love. I mean true, agapé love, the biblical love which means to seek the highest good of those you love.
I cannot remember a time when my mother was not putting us kids first in her life, or at least way ahead of herself. She sacrificed and gave and gave some more, whether it was for clothes or shoes or food or whatever, she did what she had to do to demonstrate how much she loved us.
My own mother crossed over the threshold into eternity some 14 years ago. But even now, just thinking about her, I am reminded of and thankful for such a great biblical example!
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.