And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause…
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
I’m writing this on Monday, January 16th, 2017 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I’ve seen and heard quotes from this giant of a man all day long. But the one above, and its a small quote from a larger sermon actually, got my attention with those last three phrases: some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. King was challenging his listeners back in 1968 to stand up and be counted in the matter of racial injustice. It was a worthy challenge then, as it is today.
But as I rolled those phrases around in my head, I wondered: What is my great issue or cause? The one I’m standing up for and being counted here in 2017? I really didn’t have an answer at first. But the longer I sat with that question, one surfaced in terms of my great issue or cause up to this point in my life. Drum roll, please. Its family: my wife three kids.
Now some great opportunity (King’s words) may present itself to me this very week, and I’ll have to make a choice whether or not to stand. Then again, that “big thing” may not present itself, I may have a week like most weeks where I get up every day and work to do my best to provide for the people I love the most. I am in no way diminishing the work of Martin Luther King Jr., but I’m afraid we as men do ourselves a disservice when believe that the rather unsexy work of caring for a family day in and day out is somehow a lesser issue or cause. Its not, not at all.
In fact, I believe it is those men who faithfully rise each morning and head out or in or wherever their work takes them, and keep doing their part in taking care of others which keeps this world turning in the right direction. That doesn’t mean these men don’t take adventures throughout the year where they step away from the regular and embark on the risky. They do, I do. What it means it that there is someone(s) they always return to, a wife or a partner or kids they come home to…a great cause indeed.
There’s nothing stronger than the bond between a mother and her child. Whether it’s your actual mom, a friend who’s just become one, or an adoptive aunt, either way, all moms deserve to be celebrated. Go above and beyond this Mother’s Day and treat your mom to something really special.
In only a few weeks, our oldest son turns sixteen. This means, among other things, that we’re careening toward that moment I’ve dreaded ever since he was wearing droopy Huggies and pedaling his red tricycle as if it were the Indy 500. Watching him, I had a distressing vision of one day handing him the keys to our family Honda while I stood on the front porch with nothing to do but wave as he pulled out of the driveway.