It was one of the saddest statements I’ve heard, and it came during an acceptance speech by a world-famous actress. Yet, I don’t think she even realized the gravity of what she was saying.
During her speech, the actress made these admissions, ““My family has to sacrifice so much for [my job] so this is yours,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I want my little girls to have this on their shelf and to look at it every time and say, ‘My momma didn’t put me to bed and it’s because of this.'”
Promise – not making this up. She wants her young daughters to have this trophy so that they will see it and know why she wasn’t there so many nights to tuck them in? Was the award to be a comfort to them? Was it to be a substitute for her actual presence? Does she truly not think they may actually grow to despise it, and the career that pulled her away? I don’t know.
I didn’t mention any names because I don’t want us to look anywhere but into our own mirrors. For as I considered the tragedy of the words above, I realized that there were times when I attempted to substitute my PRESENTS for my PRESENCE. There were undoubtedly times when I checked out mentally and emotionally because I was too exhausted from chasing the dream. Busy, busy, busy…investing in almost everything and everyone – except those within my four walls. No, I didn’t put a golden trophy on their shelf as a ‘substitute,’ but, the mentality was similar.
If I had the chance, I’d tell this award-winner that movies and trophies can wait, but children can’t. My “baby” is 21 and practically on her own – my days of tucking in at night are gone. I was there far more nights than I was gone, but I’d sure like to go back and have many nights over!
How about you? Trying to substitute “stuff” for substance with your family? Please rethink it. –Dave
Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. (Psalm 39:4)
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