The Mother’s Race
The job description was for Director of Operations, and the requirements went as follows: Standing for hours on end. Unlimited work weeks. No vacations. Must be a skillful negotiator. Degrees in culinary arts, finance, and medicine helpful. Oh, and by the way, there will be no paycheck.
Twenty-four people agreed to be recorded for an Internet video interview, but as the requirements became clearer, there were no takers—not one. The comments made by some of the interviewees were:
- “Is that even legal?”
- “I think that’s a little intense…that’s crazy.”
- “That’s cruel, inhumane.”
- “Nobody’s doing that for free!”
It was a new video for a “fake position” created by the American Greetings card company for Mother’s Day. The job was fake, but the interviews were real. The video is excellent, and when it was posted it went viral.
I watched it online and I laughed out loud. Then I wanted to cry. Because as the website states: “A mom’s impact is endless . . . so is her job description. It may be the world’s toughest job . . . but it provides the most extraordinary joy.”
I agree with that statement. OK, maybe not the part about it being the world’s toughest job. But I do happen to think they are getting pretty close to the mark. Even Jesus used mothers as an example when He looked for an analogy of suffering followed by joy:
“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world” (John 16:21).
To be a mother is a call to suffer. It’s true.
- A mother suffers when she brings a child into the world.
- A mother suffers when her child gets sick.
- A mother suffers when her child gets hurt.
- A mother suffers when her child goes astray.
- And perhaps hardest of all, a mother suffers when her child dies.
It is a huge responsibility to parent a child. Not just at the beginning of life, but also in the middle, and at the end. Because being a mother never stops.
However, being a godly mother encompasses much, much more than suffering. There is the promise of hopeful, relentless joy in this life and in eternity. Inexpressible, incalculable, eternal joy. We may work like crazy women but we can always rest in the Lord and in His strength.
I want to say to all mothers out there, run this “mother race” with joy. Run with all your heart, mind, and strength. Run for the Lord, who entrusted His children to you. Run for those children, that they may see your love and commitment to them. Run. Run. Run this race like your clothes are on fire! All heaven wants to cheer you on as you look toward the prize of hearing the Lord say, “Well done!” I want to cheer you on too!
But first, to our moms, we say thank you. We want to honor you for the things you’ve done. For the countless things that we selfishly never took notice of.
To those who may not have been our mothers, but who functioned like mothers and taught us by words and godly examples, hats off to you too! You are “mothers in the faith.” You cared, mentored, and prayed for us—to you we say thank you as well.
And to the rest of us moms in the trenches, let’s cast off the weight of comparing ourselves to each other, or to standards that are in vogue for about a minute. Cast off the weight of always having to have a perfect house and homemade bread dough rising on our spotless counters. Chill out about Instagram and reading mommy blogs and Pinterest. If these things help us, great! If they stress us out, frustrate, and whittle away precious time, let them go!
In doing so, we will free up more time and energy for important matters: God, family, and modeling love and holy living. Let’s run this race for the ultimate prize, forget what is behind, cast off the weights, and go for it—because this race is best run when we are fit and fleet.
That makes this mother and grandmother want to turn off the laptop, smartphone, TV, and leap off the couch. We only have this moment, and who knows for how long it will be ours? Carpe diem.
Let’s run together!