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Mother’s Day is soon upon us. It comes but once a year. But Mothers, blessedly good ones and unfortunately not-so-good ones as well, stay with us every day for the rest of our lives, whether or not we always recognize the influence.

There’s the obvious: our DNA and some measure of our looks and stature and all else physical. There’re the subtle but far-reaching influences: our personalities, attitudes, likes and dislikes and preferences, tastes in food and clothes and music, and maybe the sound and style of our laugh, generally a combination of the physical and the experiential. There are often the most profound influences: our values, faith, and worldview, i.e., our philosophy of life.

As I said, Mothers good and not-so-good make an impact upon us. Mine was, and is, without question or fear of exaggeration the former, a good Mother in every sense of the term. She introduced me to the world (birth) and later introduced me to Christ (rebirth). She yet walks the earth and influences me, if from afar. Here are a few ways she imprinted my life:

--I don’t eat with my free arm lying across the table. I can’t, though I’ve tried at times, but each time I can hear her say, “Don’t lay on the table when you eat. Sit up.” So I do.

--I read and when appropriate try to lead. I don’t know that she necessarily gave me the taste for reading. I think I came by that some other way. But she did repeatedly say to me, “Readers make leaders,” thus generally affirming my inclination to spend hours with my nose in a book.

--I try to stay faithful to “right doctrine” in terms of historic orthodox Christianity. In fact, I used to joke with the university Board where I served as a longtime president that the Board didn’t ever need to worry about me leading the school in a wrong direction theologically, because if I did I’d have to answer to my Mother first.

--I learned, and have tried to live out, appreciation for the day God’s given us. This stems from my Mother regularly reciting “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” from the King James Version, of course, because that’s the version we all used in that day.

--I don’t mind putting on “dress up” clothes. My Mother wanted us to dress well when we went to church or town, so we did. I got used to it then, so it was easy later to adopt professional standards appropriate to my positions. Meanwhile, I’ve met a lot of men who apparently never learned and can’t seem to grasp why it might be worthwhile for them to dress well when the occasion calls for it. And worse, when they do, they complain about it throughout the evening. I would likely have done this too but was groomed otherwise.

There are many more things my Mother taught me. Some more important, perhaps, than these few illustrations listed here. But the moral of the story is that I have a good reason to celebrate Mother’s Day because I was and am blessed with a good Mother. This is something I had nothing to do with crafting, an outright blessing from God. So, praise the Lord and thanks to a good Mom.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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