"For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."
— William Ross Wallace
How often do we pause amidst our busy lives as a parent, to consider that ours is the most important job in the universe? Besides God’s. Yet, then again, we are called to be God in action in as much as we are capable, so, perhaps it really is the most important job.
When you’re a parent you’re involved in daily food preparation and clean-up, seemingly endless laundry, organizing activities, quarrel settling, nap setting and a myriad of other ‘services’. It can be quite hectic and overwhelming at times.
That’s why I find it inspiring to be reminded, and to remind myself, that my job is important, even if no one knows about me except my kids and no one sees me except my kids and no one pays me except my kids. Not that work in the world is necessarily all it’s made out to be either - that’s another topic!
The mother of late President John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity — a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother."[i] What an awesome perspective!
One I could aspire to. And to think how her perspective must have played a part in shaping that soul who would later become President of the United States! What will your child be or do one day and how will your loving choices today shape that future tomorrow?
When I think of all the projects I could possibly do, all the books I could possibly write, all the people I could possibly talk with, nothing comes close to the influence my children will have on the world to come – as they grow up, and when I’m gone. The most lasting legacy I can leave is the mark I leave on their hearts and that their hearts will leave on the world.
As we get older we start to think about what mark we will leave on the world when we’re gone, and so we should. We’re supposed to pass on what we know to someone. Who better than our kids! True, they may not desire to become doctors or teachers or authors, yet we can leave with them, or at least share with them, all that we’ve gained spiritually.
I recall my dad telling me more than once that I should exceed him and that that’s the way civilization moves forward. I find it so liberating that he should desire more for me than himself. Now I’m telling my son the same. I’d like my kids to be more than I am.
I’d like to pass on everything I can to them. I’d like to leave a lasting influence for good so that when that time comes, I can say with a clean heart, “Lord, here is the work that you gave me to do. I put all my whole heart into it. I tried to love your children as you do. I tried to remember that as I cared for them, I was caring for you. May my effort be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.”
It’s not so much about leaving a mark on the world. That’s important too. Yet, one day heaven and earth will pass away. Our spirits live on. And it’s the soul lessons I desire to teach my children, even as I learn things from them. Pretty deep, huh? Yeah, that’s why I desire to remember, even for a moment as I go about my daily life that my job is the most important job in the universe. Yours is too!
How do you remind yourself that your job is the most important job in the universe?
[i]Quote attributed to Rose Kennedy, The Quote Garden, http://www quotegarden.com/parents.html