Have you ever had someone wave to you or strike up a conversation that you didn’t know? You stand there racking your brain and feeling terrible that you don’t know this person as well as they apparently know you. You don’t feel special that they know you and you don’t know them. You feel terrible and wonder where your mind has gone.
I have always stuck out in my life as a short, loud, freckle faced red head. This did NOT bode well for me in grade school, but someone how I survived. High school was filled with wonderful friends much more accepting, and even liking, my red hair. Now with my gaggle of children - I continue to be unable to fade into the background. Torment me, like me, hate me - people tend to remember me. Unfortunately, I have a TERRIBLE memory.
I found myself in an all too common occurrence at Sam’s last week when someone waved and then started talking to me that I was sure was a complete stranger. Hang me by my toes and throw water in my face, I could not of told you who this individual was. And yet, they asked about Tate, the kids, sports, and on and on. Curse my poor memory! I somehow made it out of the conversation by avoiding this woman’s name, I have become quite good at this, and went on with the shopping trip.
I recounted the story to Tate later on thinking maybe it was someone he knew, and sure enough, he knew who it was based on what I gathered from the conversation. He reminded me that he played basketball in high school and, as such, he jokingly said he was a pseudo celebrity. Most everyone in high school does know the basketball team, but I still had to laugh.
As we were bantering about his celebrity remark, Joseph was getting ready for his basketball game. He turned to us and said simply, “I am going to be a celebrity someday too.” I had to stop and laugh. The boy has aspirations and wears his Curry jersey whenever it’s not filthy, and sometimes when it is. He has his father’s shot, a desire to work, and confidence to boot. We will see where that gets him. I just enjoy watching him, and all my children, play.
As much as it warmed my heart to hear his comment, I had to pause and wonder does he desire to be a saint as much as he seeks celebrity status? If someone was to ask my children what they wanted to be, what would they say? I can think of a number of things, but the best answer, the only one they can take with them to the grave is to be a saint.
As much as Tate and I work to teach our children about the love of God, to read from Scripture, to pray together - sometimes I need these moments to remind me to keep it simple. We are made to be saints. My children need to know this and it needs to be second nature for them to articulate it. I too need to know this and be simple in my faith as well.
So how do we get there? Again, we could write endlessly on this. But, I love the story of St. Thomas Aquinas, the great theologian, and the nuns who wanted him to write a book for them on how to become a saint. After talking to him, he agreed to write his thoughts down. To their great surprise, he came back the next day and said he was finished with his book. He handed them a piece of paper that simply had the words, “Will it.”
So this mama has some work to do so that my children can know what to answer first when asked what they want to be. I also need to instill in myself, and in them, the desire to will it. As quickly as Joseph runs out the door to shoot baskets, he should be equally willing to spend time with Christ. No one said this was easy, but all things worth doing require sacrifice and work.
Each morning I should wake up with the desire above all to be a saint. To show my love of God and neighbor with each action, each word. I can never settle for less. I must pass this onto my children as well.
The odds are not in Joseph’s favor that he will be a basketball celebrity, however, if he wills it and works at it, by the grace of God, someday he can be a saint. A mother could want for nothing more. JMJ