Here’s my dilemma: I am immortal, recognized and honored by the highest possible Authority, and frankly dazzling. If you saw me for what I am, you would be tempted to fall down and worship me.
But I find myself called, at least for now, to be just a mother of five and a Worldview Academy faculty wife. How could such a small role deserve to absorb all my resources and identity? Well, it can’t. My present calling is not my reason for existing. It is not my value. And this has been so freeing. I believe my calling is worth dying for, but it isn’t worth living for.
I believe my calling is worth dying for, but it isn’t worth living for.
Let me explain. I cling to Jesus’ promises of the glory that will be mine in the New Creation (and are mine already, albeit in a hidden way). According to His own words, I will shine, rule over angels, live forever in dynamic intimacy with HE WHO IS and yet remain myself, in my own body, glorified and strong forever. These are His promises, and they are true, even if at the moment, I look much more like a scullery maid than an empress.
My children require all my energy all the time. Moms, don’t you sometimes feel like you’re dying? Like these precious but difficult ones are draining your life force? Well, they are. And for a while this is our calling: to be faithful daily even if it kills us. But this calling doesn’t encompass us. It doesn’t have to absorb us. In fact, it can’t.
I was made for unlimited intimacy with THE LIVING ONE. . . All I want is Him; all that I love comes from Him. Including my sweet babies’ thighs and my husband’s smile.
In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis describes it like this. A man who lives by the shore should be willing to save a drowning man when he comes across one, even if it means he dies trying. Maybe anyone who lives by the shore ought to learn rescue skills, just in case. Rescuing a drowning man is a cause worth giving one’s life for. But it’s not enough to live for! He shouldn’t sit in his cottage all day, denying himself all pleasures and other interests in order to be ready when someone starts drowning. He is too big for that small purpose. It’s not nearly enough for him.
And my children, home and husband are not enough for me. Does that sound cold? It’s really just a matter of proportion. I was made for unlimited intimacy with THE LIVING ONE. He pulled my dry bones together and breathed life into me. All I want is Him; all that I love comes from Him. Including my sweet babies’ thighs and my husband’s smile. In my calling, this LIFE overflows wherever He puts me, for however long, no matter what it takes. He is the fuel for my day-to-day. I may spend all I have in loving my neighbor (in my case, all the little neighbors that live in my house), but any earthly calling I have is too small to contain or obscure my full identity. I’m meant for eternal things, and at any moment He may call me Home to do them for I long to depart and be with Christ, but for your sake, I’ll remain.
Washing dishes (again), I am walking toward Paradise. Picking up those tiny sneakers (again), I am on the brink of Eternity. And so are you, Mommy.
In dark, resentful moments, I have literally sat down at the kitchen table to count the seconds until one more person made one more demand, and then off I’d go again to fill a sippy cup, change a diaper, break up a fight, read another story, vacuum the broken glass, wipe the marker off the wall, find the sock, fix the toy, kiss the scrape. And my resentfulness tends to be two-fold: “Anyone could do this job! I have bigger talents than this!” and “I have NO ONE to help me! I do these repetitive tasks over and over by myself!” And I’m right, and I’m wrong. No one helps because this is the calling God gave ME right now. In obedience I am to take it. Do I have bigger talents? Well, who knows, but it IS true that I’m made for bigger things than this micro-calling. In gratitude, I can enjoy it. Because I don’t LIVE for these little things, though I may die for them.
I live (on a good day) remembering where I’m headed. Washing dishes (again), I am walking toward Paradise. Picking up those tiny sneakers (again), I am on the brink of Eternity. And so are you, Mommy. If I saw you as He sees you, I would be tempted to fall down and worship you. Because you are immortal, honored by the highest possible Authority, and frankly dazzling. While you pick up tiny sneakers (again).