Where to find "your amazing"
This past Sunday in the Hollcraft household, there was a brief exchange of words that went something like this:
Isaac, my 3 year old son: (While looking at a picture of Mary kissing the feet of the crucified Jesus) “He dead?”
Mommy: “Yea, that is Mary kissing his feet.”
Isaac: “Oh, because Jesus has owwies.”
Avila, my 7 year old daughter: “Mary is not dead though, she just went to heaven, because she is the most amazing mother of all time.”
While we chuckled at Avila’s words, and marveled at Isaac’s observation, I could not stop asking myself the question: what is it that makes Mary the most amazing mother of all time?
Certainly, such an inquiry compelled me to think about many things, but there is only one event in the life of Mary that makes every other event possible—the Annunciation; and with it, only one word in Scripture that makes the New Testament conceivable—“Yes” (cf. Lk 1:26-38). In other words, the most amazing thing in human history happened, because tucked away in the least expected place, and in the least expected way, a simple virgin from Nazareth responded to an angel with the simplest of words: “yes” (literally: “let it be to me”).
In a recent viewing of the Pixar Animation feature, The Incredibles, I was struck by a line offered up by one of the characters. There is a point in the movie where the Incredibles, a.k.a., the “supers”, have been re-assimilated into the world, going incognito from their “super” vocation. For Mr. Incredible, the lead protagonist in this animated classic, anonymity was leading to an identity crisis. It was on one occasion upon arriving home from another “boring” day at work, that Mr. Incredible was greeted by a little bubble-gum popping boy just staring at him. After the worn down and frustrated Mr. Incredible asked him: “Well, what are you waiting for?” the little boy responds: “I don’t know, something amazing I guess”, and to that, I say—“Aren’t we all!”
In different ways, we are all waiting for something “amazing” to happen in our lives. The thing of it is, for some of us, we seek the amazing not from within, but from without. We cheer on teams, and root for championships so we can talk about something amazing. We follow the world of TMZ and want to be like the stars of Hollywood in hoping to become someone amazing. Most of us are fanatics (fan is short for fanatic) about something, or someone: a sports team, a superstar, a television show, and so on. Why not be a fanatic for Jesus Christ (His number one fan)? Not all of us are called to be a professional athlete or actor, but all of us are called to do something amazing with our lives, and Jesus will help us do just that--realize our “amazing!”
My daughter said Mary is “the most amazing mother of all time”, because Mary embraced her “amazing.” Mary teaches us that saying “yes” to God is where “amazing” happens. Every time we submit to God’s will, our lives become the “amazing” that people will talk about for future generations. Not in the sense of an incredible feat during a basketball game, but in the admiration of a good that comes out from saying yes to God in everything, and everywhere. We are in the game of life, and the saints are in the heavenly arena cheering us on (cf. Heb 12:1). So let us "run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus" (Heb 12:1-2), and give those who are in the heavenly arena reason to cheer for something amazing!