As I read my daily devotional on yesterday, it talked about the sacrifice of Christ that we may live. At the end of the devotion, the writer asked a poignant question: In what ways have others sacrificed for your well-being? I pondered this question all day. Often, we assess how much of ourselves we give to others, but what about those who forfeited their needs and wants for our benefit.
Ask any parent about sacrifice and I am sure they have several stories to tell. Stories of countless moments in which a child’s want or need became a priority. Indeed, that is called parental responsibility. Our children did not ask to be brought into this world. Nature has placed an automatic response to take care of the needs of our little ones (big ones, too!) without giving it a second thought. Parental sacrifice is expected; but, do we appreciate it? Think about that for a moment!
I dedicate this blog to my grandmother and my mother who sacrificed much, so that I would lack nothing. These two women worked hard to make much out of little. No expense was too great. I remember the sleepless nights to soothe me through an illness. I can recall the swollen scarred hands that gently bathed my sensitive skin. And, do not forget the hot water and Epsom salts foot soaks to relieve swollen feet that ached from standing all day. I will never forget these women wearing the same tattered clothing, so that we could have good quality clothes and shoes. I never understood why they drank so much coffee…it was to quench the pain of hunger; while keeping us fed and full. The ignorance of my youth never allowed me to consider the cost of raising a family on scarce wages.
Let us never forget the people in our lives who paid a price we could never repay. Be grateful for the ones who put your needs ahead of their own. Give them the honor and respect due their names. Think of the heartache and pain they suffered in silence. Consider the discipline it took to show up for 30 years at a job they hated. Think of how your childhood was spared from the harmful effects of adult issues…they hid so well. A sacrificial victim’s job is a thankless occupation. Yet, on a day-to-day basis many step up to the plate. Real people…keep it real for the sake of family. What a blessing!
Never take it for granted those whose shoulders we stand upon due to their diligence to build bridges in which they would never cross…all for our sakes! The ones who smile when they feel like crying…endurance, strength, and tenacity worn like a badge of honor. Whether it is a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, an aunt, a god-parent, a teacher, a preacher, a neighbor, or a mentor…no matter whom it was. Take time to remember. Make it a point to say, “Thank you” to the ones who saw something in you worthy of sacrifice. The good foundation laid by our loved ones in order that we might aim higher…no small task!
Now, it is your turn to “pay it forward” that is your reasonable service.
Written by Laura Alexander