“Make it your ambition to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands . . .” – I Thessalonians 4:11
Some time ago, I had an unexpected conversation with someone who prescribed how I should live my life. The person wanted me to be an aggressive go-getter; to earn an advanced degree, have a high-paying job, to travel, to have a husband and children, and a nice house—because that is how that person lived.
I considered this lifestyle, but I could not agree, because this “prescribed life” is not a quiet life.
I realized that my mom has led a quiet life. She did not travel much; she did not have a career; and while she went to college, she did not get a PhD. Some people might look down on my mom because she was not a mother and a CEO, a mother and a world-traveler, or a mother and a Doctor of [insert degree].
Instead, my mom dedicated the majority of her life to raising Nate, Alana, and me. I think she could have done very well for herself in the business world because she is very smart, but she decided not to. I’m glad, because my entire life is filled with invaluable memories of her love and dedication to our family.
My mom cooked dinner almost every night. She made breakfast for me until I graduated from high school, creating bagel sandwiches that she wrapped expertly in wax paper. Even when I realized that she had to wake up before 5:30 am, and I said she didn’t have to because I was able, my mom said, “No, I like doing it.” I was relieved because no one can make a sandwich and wrap it quite like my mom.
Mom taught me all sorts of things, and she was able to do that because she was always with us. What an honor it is to have my mom sacrifice everything to show me how to draw, how to clean a toilet, how to make a bed, how to boil eggs, and how to be at peace with the life God has given me.
I wonder if my mom thinks she missed God’s call for her life because she did not have a career or do any of the other things the world marvels at. I’d say absolutely not. She has dedicated her life to molding her three children into people who will impact the world for God’s glory, and that is no menial task.
Some may say that there is nothing wrong with traveling, getting a PhD, or having a stellar job, and I agree. However, I am saying that none of these things are better than the other, and that it is unwise to compare our lives. Some of us will be full-time mothers for decades. Some of us will work and may never have children. Some of us will have to work and care for a family because that’s how life has worked out.
What matters is managing the life the Lord has blessed you with to the best of your ability.
To live a quiet life managing the Lord’s call. To mind your own business and not compare your life as a CEO with your neighbor’s life as a full-time mother or vice versa.
You see, we are all working together as members of the body of believers to accomplish the same goal: the spread of the Gospel. However, each of us approaches that goal from a different angle, and while the world says one profession is fancier than the other, the Lord is equally pleased with both the CEO and the mother.
We strive to live these radical lives that make people stop and marvel at what we have accomplished. But not everyone will be a parent or be famous or write books or travel to dozens of countries, and that’s okay. What really matters is whether we impact lives for eternity. Are you doing that? If so, the Lord is pleased.