A Mother’s Motivation
By Heidi Braun
It was semi-dark in the living room with the blinds cracked half open. What time of day it was, nobody could tell or perhaps even care. A state of subdued silence had overcome the place, since no one felt much like talking. Maybe they were watching a movie to distract themselves from the discomfort. Or more likely, trying to catch some much needed sleep. It was one of those days that just dragged on and on endlessly.
My family and I had all simultaneously come down with a bad stomach bug. We really looked like a pitiful bunch curled up on the sofas with blankets in shared misery. However, when the family is sick, someone has to look out for them. My mother rose to the challenge without a complaint, though she felt just as ill as any of us.
I no longer remember the specifics. Just that someone had to go to the store and get the medicine – or perhaps it was a food item – to aid our recovery. What gave her the strength to get up on her feet, drive to the store, navigate the aisle and checkout line, and make it safely home again? Perhaps the better question would be “who?” God surely strengthened her and gave her this motivation: a mother’s love.
A single act of unselfishness can make so much difference. For those of us on the receiving end, we sometimes have difficulty identifying the gestures. But look around in your life – what examples of care and love have others shown you? Sometimes we are driven to action only because of rewards. There are many reasons why rewards can be good, motivating factors. In fact, as I was deciding my topic for this blog, I very nearly wrote about rewards and how they can help one press forward. There is something to be said for that one slice of cake after you’ve dutifully pushed through your workout and diet routine for a successful month. A bonus at the end of the year can be a great incentive to excel at your job. But some situations call for one to press forward with few tangible rewards. In my mother’s case, she was motivated by unselfish love.
“God is love,” (1 John 4:8). He is all about this kind of motivation. To truly show love to someone else, one needs to stay focused on the other’s needs and best interests. There is something about this mindset that is rather intriguing and awesome in how well it works. Quite often, when I have given priority to someone else’s needs, my own problems don’t seem nearly as awful. One could say this is an indirect return for putting others first. However, reward or no reward, the results are powerful in others’ lives. I owe a lot to my mother for her positive example, and still more to the Father and Son who show ultimate love.