Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sincere Faith and Commitment


"I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well." 2 Timothy 1:5

There is an old episode of "The Waltons" called 'The Bicycle.' Olivia, (the mother of seven) faithfully cooks, tidies, sews, cares emotionally and spiritually for her family day in and day out. One day, her children aren't listening, aren't doing their chores, she is exhausted and feels taken for granted. Remembering that she was once a person who had thoughts, dreams and goals of her own, she decides she's had enough.

Olivia gives the children instructions for the day, what to make for meals, and decides to take an opportunity at church, singing in the choir, that will require a lot more time away from home than her and her family are used to. Olivia saw a blue bicycle at the general store that she liked, so she rides her way to freedom on her blue bicycle, remembering what it felt like to have some "freedom" and wind in her hair.

At first, Olivia enjoys her new choir practices and obligations outside her home, and she gets in touch with some of her talents again. She always feels a sense of unease in herself, as if she isn't where she belongs and she is forcing a situation that is unnatural. After the practices, the church ladies stand around and gossip, and invite Olivia into their conversation and coffee time. Olivia tries to participate, but has the nagging sense inside herself that her children and family need her.

Olivia notices that pots and pans have stuck on food, the kitchen is a mess, and everyone is falling apart emotionally from the lack of her presence. Her children make their own breakfast, get themselves off to school everyday, and go about their lives while she is in a rush pursuing what she temporarily thinks is more worthwhile or fulfilling. She sees all the little "touches" she puts in everyday that she thinks are insignificant, but make every difference in the life of the people she loves every day. She realizes that the 'freedom' she desired wasn't freedom at all, but a false sense of satisfaction, a temporary way to fill that would never deeply satisfy. She knows the really fulfilling, satisfying things in life take hard work and sacrifice but they are not shallow or false.

This story (episode) is so truthful because of the feelings Olivia goes through, the love in her heart, and the open eyes she has to see truth. She sees that her choir practice and pursuit of herself are worth nothing in the end and are not fulfilling if she isn't fully present with those she loves, providing them what they need from her. Through the years she passes on her love, values, and faith because of her deep commitment to her family, her uncompromising values to be the mom at home, and her unwavering unselfishness.

If this were on tv today, her 'escape' from home would have been the main storyline, where her new found "freedom" would be celebrated and nothing of the suffering at home of her family and children would be mentioned. That part would be ignored, and glamorized would be her new job, or new hobbies or "new self." The truth of this episode was so wisely done because the reality of the effect from the lack of her faithful presence in the home was shown, and the neglect and suffering that resulted wasn't swept under the rug. She found herself again in her faithful duties and realized she could not run away from deep responsibilities, even when the days were long and hard and she felt unappreciated. She maintained an eternal perspective.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing..." Proverbs 31:25

"I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother." ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin." ~ Henry Ward Beecher


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