We were on family vacation in Orlando. We lined up early at Shamu Stadium. Although we'd seen the show in prior years, our attempt to see it on this trip was debunked by whales more interested in the springtime tradition of pairing up than in performing tricks that delight thousands. Surely Shamu and his cohorts would be in better spirits today.
The friendly stage manager appeared as if out of nowhere and struck up a conversation with our family of six. His eyes sparkled when he asked Hayleigh's age and my answer met with his satisfaction. "How would you like to be in the show today?", he inquired knowing with certainty her eager reply would be a resounding "I'd love to."
Hayleigh was whisked backstage where she got to meet Shamu's trainers and gain an understanding of the role she would play in the show. The theme of the performance was dreams and Hayleigh would depict a female trainer dreaming of growing up to train killer whales. The grand finale was when Hayleigh was broadcast on the jumbo tron and asked the million dollar question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
The collective gasp of five thousand mouths may have sent Shamu into oxygen deprivation because her reply was a sweet and simple, "I want to be a wife and mother." Immediately, I could feel the eyes boring in the back of our heads. After all, no self-respecting parent raises her daughter to "just" want to be a wife and mother. In this decade woman are destined for greatness far surpassing the mundane life of laundry and carpools. Right?
Today I begin the final book of the New Testament - Revelation. The first chapter sets the stage for John's prophecy with an excitement unparalleled in other books of prophecy. This is God's final word: He wins! Amongst these opening strains are words that answer the question of the ages: Why am I here? "To serve his (Jesus') God and Father." (Verse 6)
Like the crowd in Shamu Stadium, I have surveyed my life at times and questioned if I wasn't made for more. Being a wife and mother is a high calling and one I'm proud my daughter aspires to however there is a higher calling. It is the calling to serve and glorify God.
In Matthew 25:34-36 Jesus describes the outward expression of a heart that seeks to glorify God:
- feeding the hungry
- clothing the naked
- befriending the lonely
- visiting the sick and imprisoned
In the simplest acts, just cups of cold water given to one in need, a single human life can bring glory to God.
While few persons who watched Shamu that July day would agree, I believe that Hayleigh has the noblest of ambitions. Her aim is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, befriend the lonely and care for the sick. In so doing, she will serve Christ Himself.
Jesus, today help me remember that it is my chief aim to glorify You. When I wipe a runny nose, I glorify You. When I invite a new neighbor over for coffee, I glorify You. When I volunteer with the homeless, I glory You. A simple life lived for Your glory alone is indeed a holy ambition.