Man, did it catch me off guard. Tears as I was watching the news.
It was all Kevin Durant’s fault. The Oklahoma City Thunder star was accepting the NBA’s MVP award. Nothing you’d expect to be a tear-jerker.
Then he started dedicating his award to his mother, who was in the audience. At 21, she was a single mother, on her own, with two young sons. This mountain of a man said to his mom:
“You made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us.”
By now, Kevin Durant’s losing it. His mom’s losing it. My wife and I are losing it. Then came his reach-for-the-Kleenex conclusion . . .
“You’re the real MVP.”
Wow. A son unashamed to tell the world how much he owes his mother. And a mother who surrendered any “entitlement” for the love of her sons.
Now that’s a Mother’s Day story!
And watching it started me thinking about a little Mother’s Day inventory. And four questions for Mother’s Day.
1. A question for sons and daughters - Are you focused on what you appreciate about Mom or what aggravates you about Mom?
Kevin Durant was actually doing one of the Ten Commandments at that award ceremony. “Honor your . . . mother.” He saw her sacrifices, not her shortcomings. He was about gratitude toward Mom, not attitude.
We choose what we focus on. And as the child Mom gave life to, we can elevate her or crush her as no one else can. At the funeral, we’ll talk about all we loved about her. When she can’t hear. We should tell her now
2. A question for mothers - Are you investing your best in your children or in something else?
There have never been more distractions, more pressures pulling a mother every which-way. Or more of a “selfie” culture telling a woman she’s “entitled” to put herself in the center. Strangely, Jesus said, “If you try to hang onto your life, you will lose it” (Luke 9:24). And that we find our life in the process of giving it away.
The legacy of a mother’s life will not ultimately be the title she held, the people she impressed, or the activities she was in. It will be the child she marked as no other person on earth can. Like Kevin’s mom - who sacrificed herself for her sons. That’s what makes any mother “the real MVP.”
3. A question for single men - Are you looking for just a girl to marry or for a great mother for the next generation?
It’s hard to see it when you’re all passionate and lovestruck. But the girl you marry will indelibly shape your children . . . and ultimately their children – and more. You’re not just making a five or ten year choice. You’re marking future generations. For better or worse.
4. A question for single women - Are you focusing on the qualities that are always beautiful or the ones that fade with time?
The Bible describes a woman who is “more precious than rubies.” Whose children “bless her” and whose husband “praises her.” It says of her, “Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31). You have to defy the cultural drumbeat to be that kind of woman. Because our culture’s so about what’s on the outside. But what makes a woman great is her heart. Unselfish. Pure. Truthful. Positive. Gentle. Compassionate.
A woman with a sense of eternity. Like the grandmother I met who had this prayer on the wall in her bedroom: “On that great Resurrection Day, may I stand before my Savior and say, ‘Here am I . . . and the children You gave me.”