Every summer I take my three kids to see BJ Hickman The Magician at a local performance center. It’s very special for me because it’s one of the few summer adventures where it is just the four of us. Even though we’ve seen almost every trick BJ performs, I look forward to it every year.
He calls up a different child from the audience to be his assistant for almost every trick he does. Years ago, he chose my oldest son Zack. BJ magically attached spoons all over Zack's arms and face. It was an incredible thrill for him.
Although Mason tried to be happy for his brother, he was oozing with jealousy and disappointment because he wasn't the one chosen. When we went the following year, I hoped and prayed that Mason would get picked. No such luck.
So when BJ asked for his first volunteer the year after that, Mason raised both hands and jumped up and down. Zack and and my daughter Jocelyn were raising both of their hands too. My eyes pricked with pride when I realized that they weren’t raising their hands for themselves. Instead, they were waving and pointing at Mason, trying to increase the odds that their brother would get picked. Of course I had to join in. We waved and pointed at Mason over and over again during the course of the hour. Despite all of our efforts, Mason still wasn't chosen. It was heartbreaking.
On the walk back to our car, Mason said, “His magic show is so awesome.” Then he looked down and said, “Even though he never chose me.”
My response came like a gift from God. I said, “But Mason, we chose you.”
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
Later that night at dinner, we talked about it some more. I asked Mason what would be better: to be chosen to go on stage, be in the spotlight for just two minutes, but live in a family for 365 days a year where he wasn’t loved and chosen? Or the reverse? His immediate response was, “The reverse.” He understood that living every day with parents and siblings who love and always choose him far outweighs two minutes of glory.
Don’t we all crave our fifteen minutes of fame? Don’t we all wish that we could be famous for some fabulous accomplishment? Don’t we all want to impact the world with something wonderfully positive and life-giving?
Guess what? Every single one of us moms is doing just that. We created and are raising our fabulous accomplishments as we speak.
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Although most days there is no glitz or glamour about the toilets we scrub and the meals we cook, on those days when our kids reach out to the friendless child on the playground, hold the door for an elderly person, or console their sibling when he or she is sad, we have impacted the world with something wonderfully positive and life-giving. And given the choice, I’d much rather choose that over my two minutes in the spotlight.
Copyright 2017 Claire McGarry
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.