I grew up with illusions of grandeur. I really thought I would be Someone, that I would do Something Big. I imagined my classmates from Sugar-Salem High School [GO DIGGERS!!!} telling people “I went to school with her.” I saw myself smiling graciously as people--lots of people-- thanked me for whatever great thing it was that I did. I dreamed that I would change lives on a grand scale and that my name would be known far and wide. And I loved the feeling of acceptance, even adulation, my delusions evoked.
Not to be. Chances are strong that I will never experience the satisfaction of knowing that I have had a significant impact on society. Nor will I ever experience the large-scale adulation the man and woman mentioned in my opening paragraph experience. How would it feel, I wondered, to be them? To feel thoroughly accepted, acclaimed, and adored?
Pondering as I prepared for a shower (some of my greatest insights come while showering…) I had an “ah-ha” moment. One does not have to be publicly acclaimed to be thoroughly accepted and adored. That is what families are for!
God gave us families so that everyone can know what it feels like to be a famous NFL quarterback, an acclaimed vocal artist, or an influential religious leader. We may not experience the thrill of the completed pass, the roar of an appreciative crowd, or a request to shake our hand at a restaurant but we can know what it feels like to be completely accepted and absolutely adored. We can experience those feelings at home.
My Mom and Dad think I am much better than I am; they think I am totally wonderful, better in fact than any rock star or world leader. In their presence I feel totally adored. My husband thinks I am pretty great too, as do my children much of the time. “You are the greatest,” all of them have told me, in one way or another, at one time or another.
I know what it feels like to be thoroughly accepted, acclaimed, and adored because I have felt it in my home. And it is my right, duty, and privilege to make sure the members of my family know what it feels like as well. Realistically, it will not happen every day. But, realistically, it does not happen every day for famous people either; not every day is game day, concert day or General Conference. I am confident famous people do not always feel adored. To quote a favorite musical “Life is made of moments” and not every moment is glorious for anyone.
However we can all have glorious moments, moments in which we feel totally loved and absolutely adored. Enter the family. It is in the family that everyone, regardless of social status, economic standing, or educational opportunity, can experience what it feels like to be one of “them”, one of the rich, famous, and/or influential people whom we hypothesize to have ideal lives.
I can still be Someone. I can still do Something Big. Likely not on a world scale, a national scale, nor at the state level. Chances are I will not even be recognized at the city level. But I can be Someone and do Something in my home. I can make sure my husband, parents and children, my sister, siblings and in-laws, my nieces and nephews and neighbors know what it feels like to be thoroughly accepted and completely adored.