We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and I like to think that we genuinely celebrated Mothers—young and old alike. During a beautiful day spent with my children and grandchildren, I had some time to reflect on this incredible journey of motherhood that I’ve been on for over 40 years. In some strange way, it feels like I’ve been running a race—with all the components that a race entails.
The young woman who thinks motherhood ends after nine months of pregnancy and a traumatic trip to the hospital is in for a big surprise. That is only the beginning. Actually, it could be considered the starting gate for the horse race of her life. It is a race that lasts for many years, and around each turn lays yet another stretch of track with totally new challenges. And I think she probably won’t cross the finish line until she says her final good-byes to her offspring here on earth.
This is a race in which she will not compete against other runners—she simply strives to run the best race she can. There will be many winners standing in the winner’s circle, holding the winner’s trophy, and wearing the winner’s wreathe. Like all races, this one also requires strength and endurance, the desire to win, and the willingness to pay the price for preparation and readiness. She needs to know in advance that the condition of her heart is highly important, as a weak heart will never do. Only a strong heart can endure the stress, the work, the sweat and the tears that motherhood demands.
The prize in this race of motherhood is neither money nor fame, but it is more akin to a deep sense of accomplishment—although the benefits and the glory will go to someone else. A successful race may even go unnoticed by many; her hard work passed off as expected, or simply, as her duty. But she will know when she has run a good race. No one will have to tell her anything. It’s a calling fulfilled and an assignment completed. And when at last she reaches the end of her race, the next step will be to hear her Lord say those most desired words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” ~Janie Kellogg