I, like most, don’t always get it ‘right’. We all struggle to find Truth in a world that so often seems filled with half-truths and even blatant deception. Perhaps, you’ve had the experience of attempting to make a purchase, but hesitate because you have been lied to so often, that you simply do not know if you can trust the words coming out of the mouth of the salesperson. Rather than it simply being a straightforward transaction, you are now faced with the dilemma of: ‘Should I believe this person…or not?’.
I find it often discouraging that we live in such a world today. It has become commonplace to believe that ‘everyone lies’, and sadly accepted as ‘the norm’. No longer are children taught in school that lying is a sin. When you are a Truth Seeker, these battles seem to occur daily. In your endless pursuit of Truth, you are challenged unceasingly with having to work harder to get to the Truth..and this work demands of you energy, energy that could be better used for something more productive.
I’m ‘old-school’. I was raised predominantly by my dad who was born in 1917, a century ago. He would be turning 100 this year. Although far from perfect, and often one that fell short of his ideals, he still was essentially a ‘good-man’, in spite of his shortcomings. At least in word, he taught me that the highest values in life and in character were Honor & Integrity. He was an officer of the Law. Though not a military man, he had similar ideals. He made mistakes and there is History of his abusive actions in his personal life that I pray have been forgiven. The thing that caused me the most difficulty in my life was his over-protectiveness. I know he was motivated by Love in this, yet the outcome of it is that I did not learn how to protect myself in my formative years. This led to many damaging ramifications in my life as I matured.
My mom, on the other hand, was a more gentle creature. Gentle, yet very strong in her own way. The proudest moment/memory I retain of her in my childhood was the day she walked to work. Back in the early 60’s, it was uncommon for a ‘married lady’ to be employed. My dad was ‘a good provider’ which was the only thing she would say about the man. She refrained from saying anything negative, so when asked about him she would simply state: “I can say this about him: he was a good provider” and left it at that. Because my dad felt shame in my mom having a job because he felt it was a reflection on him to the world, he wanted her to lose her job. One day, he decided to take away her keys to her car so she couldn’t go to work. What I recall of that day is my dad yelling at me to: “Get in the car!”. He then proceeded to drive us up the street and onto the main street slowly, continuously looking around as if he was trying to spot something. Then, he did. I could see the relief overtake his concerned countenance as his brow relaxed.
There she was, my mom, walking along the sidewalk briskly. She was on her way to work.
I recall him rolling down the window, no push-buttons in those days, and yelling out to my mom to please get into the car. He apologized profusely and promised her he would take her to work, etc., etc., etc.. My mom never turned her head. She never lost a beat. She never hesitated in one step. She was focused.
As a young child, perhaps eight, I knew that children were to keep silent in those days. We had a respect for our elders that was ingrained in us at an early age and we knew to not interrupt an ‘adult conversation’. So, I sat in this creeping along the road vehicle absorbing like a sponge this verbal one-sided communication taking place. Up to this moment, I had been feeling apprehension, internalizing the fears filtering through to me from my dad. I felt his relief upon first finding my mom. I felt his concern as he pleaded with her. I was focused.
My mom never did stop walking that day. My dad did finally give up and drive us back home in silence and with great sadness. I have no more recall of that event in my life, except for one thing. I was smiling. I felt a peace come over me in which I found great comfort. I felt a sense of pride in my mom.
It was the proudest moment in my short little existence at that point. It was the day my mom walked to work with dignity, focused on her goal, never wavering, never hesitating. She was not in the least defiant…simply focused.
Philippians 3:12-21 (MSG)
Focused on the Goal
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
For you, Mom. I love you!!! (Betty Mae…she went Home Easter morning 1973 at age 50)
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/2017/03/the-pain-of-holidays-after-the-loss-of-loved-ones/