This story is a couple years old, but I keep coming back to it in my thoughts, so I am sharing it with you today. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
My son is in “Boot Camp.” By his own choice. He’s six. Recently, he asked a family friend, who is an officer in the Marine Corps, what Boot Camp was. With a tease in his voice, the Marine described “Boot Camp” as: 1) getting up before your mother to clean the house for her, 2) standing at attention every evening to do what your parents want, 3) working hard, and I added keeping a good attitude. This concept of Boot Camp captivated his imagination! He wants to be a Marine now, and for the first couple of days he insisted he was a soldier.
The moment we arrived home that evening, he asked what he could do for being in Boot Camp. He made his brother’s lunch for school the next day, set the table for supper, and helped clear it afterward. Daily, he reminds me he’s in Boot Camp, and asks what he needs to do. He has maintained a great attitude and touched me with the purity and beauty of his service.
Though we are a few days beyond the introduction of this concept, he’s still excited about being in Boot Camp. To him, it is something special, a secret he’s only telling a few close friends. He is passionate about it, about serving selflessly, being a part of something bigger than himself, and about being a Marine one day.
This morning, as I spent time with Jesus, this question came to mind: “Jeanne, what about you? Are you in My ‘Boot Camp’?” Startled, I realized I have a lot to learn from my son’s heart attitude toward serving.
Where his has been one of delight and joy, my heart tends to serve more out of obligation, because “it must get done.” My son’s attitude toward serving our family has been one of willingness, even when he’d rather play. I serve willingly, but my heart sometimes complains. My son has practiced being disciplined to do the right thing when it needs to be done. Sometimes, I put things off because I want “a little ‘me’ time.” My son has kept an amazing attitude of respect towards his parents this week. For me, I catch myself “talking short” to the kids more than I’d like to admit.
As a wife and a mother, service is a part of my life. But, can I serve Jesus by serving my family with a heart that rejoices? Can I have the same purity and fervor my son has shown me this week? To do so, I need to re-align my heart with Jesus, identifying with Him and seeking Him. He has called me to be a wife and mother, which involves more than cleaning the house and cooking meals. Being in God’s army is a calling that is bigger than myself. It’s going to be tough, but I think I’m going to sign up for “Boot Camp” right now.
Your Turn: Have you ever had a “Boot Camp” sort of experience? What were you challenged to change?