A Yardstick In Time
A YARDSTICK IN TIME
After considerable digging I was finally able to find it. In talking a while back with an old classmate, I was able to confirm the title of the book that Miss Mangold had read to us 5th graders at Ridgeview Elementary way back in the mid-1960s. It was a joy to be in Miss Mangold's class - - she was a wonderful teacher with a vivacious personality. Each day she would read to us and it was a slice of heaven. Her sweet voice became so animated that the words jumped off the page. It was like being in a movie. It didn't hurt that this particular book was the story of Man O' War, one of the world's greatest racehorses. In the foreword of the book the author Walter Farley writes, “Many years have passed since Man O' War raced. The few who remember him on the track will tell you that all the great champions that have raced since - - Equipoise, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Assault, Citation, Native Dancer, Nashua, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, to name a few - - were only 'the best since Man O' War.' To them Man O' War is the one to be remembered. He alone is their yardstick of time.
Our moms are like that - - mothers are like yardsticks in time. We measure our lives in comparison to these notable ladies we're privileged to call Mom. They are not only pace-setters, but they are record-holders. In a strange kind of way, while aspiring to be “good” they become “the greatest”. Rarely, if ever, do moms begin with a mission statement that expresses their desire to be the greatest mother ever, but somehow a good number of them end up accomplishing that which may have seemed far beyond their reach. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying, 'Many daughters have done nobly, but YOU SURPASS THEM ALL' (Prov.31:28-29).
Sara Hale is right on in noting, “There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother.” Henry Ward Beecher likened a mother's heart to the child's schoolroom. An unknown author encapsulates what we're trying to say: Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. Or, as James Faust has penned, “The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is BEYOND CALCULATION.” Perhaps Lisa Leslie captures the sentiment best in saying: My mother was my role model before I even knew what that word was!
It can be intimidating to embrace maternity as the equivalent of being a “measuring rod of excellence” or a “paragon of virtue”, but with God being your helper you moms can excel in this most important undertaking - - to be “a yardstick in time” - - “a role model” for your children. Mothers are charged by God to train up a child in the way he should go... (Prov.22:6). The best way to do this is in word and deed!
Terry Siverd / Cortland Church of Christ