Saturday, June 10, 2006

Settling for Second Best

**Warning: This entry features SPOILERS from the movie Dreamer. If you like to watch movies without any knowledge about what might happen, and you haven't see it, then go out and rent it today, and then read this tomorrow, but it probably doesn't give away any more than your average preview.**

So, the movie Dreamer deals with a race horse who is hurt while racing. At the prompting of his charming daughter, Dakota Fanning, Kurt Russell decides to keep the horse himself. He decides that a prize winning racehorse could earn a bit of money by selling her colts. He calls in a favor, and then scrapes together the money required for the stud fee of another former great racer. But then the bad news comes from the vet checks her out, "She's sterile."

Kurt's mad about all the time and money he's wasted on this horse, but Dakota doesn't give up. She wants to Dreamer to race again. Well, whether you've seen the movie or not, you can guess that Dreamer does race. I won't give you the details, but it did get me thinking.

Dreamer was a racehorse who had already won races and was showing promise to be truly great. Kurt thought that she could still be of use as a breeder. She'd pass on her genes and help create future champions, making some money to earn her keep in the process. But Dreamer wasn't meant to breed champions, she was meant to be one.

How many times do we settle for second best? Is there something that you know that God has called you to or gifted you with that you've let go of? The idea of being breeders may hit too close to home for some of us. How many times as a mom do we sit back content to raise the champions, instead of being the champion?

It's a hard question. I know that as moms we are more than breeders. We do have a great and scary responsibility to raise children worthy of their calling. That in itself is second to none. And yes, I do think that being "just" a mom sometimes is our calling for season. However, I think that we often make excuses about something we can't do, because our "children need us." There is a good deal of time in my day when my children are sleeping or otherwise engaged (God blessed me with two great sleepers). How do I use those hours? I can use them to nurture my marriage, making me a champ to my husband. I can use them to keep up with friends and likewise keep in touch with myself as a person, not "just" a mom. I can use them to nurture my dreams and refine my abilities.

That vet was able to stop Kurt from wasting the money for the stud fee, because he knew that was not Dreamer's calling for her life. God is the Author of our lives. He knows the path we're on (the beginning, where we are stuck in the middle, and even the end). Have you had your regular checkup? God can tell you if you're on the right path or the wrong one. He would delight in doing so.

P.S. Of course I know that Dakota and Kurt are the actors' names, but I'm horrible at remembering them, so this will do. I ask Dreamer the horse's forgiveness for not knowing her "real" name to refer to. . . .


Code Yellow Mom said...

This was a really great parallel - haven't seen the movie, but I did know the story...I liked what you said about sometimes making excuses and missing out on opportunities to be the champion instead of just breeding them. :) Thanks for the reminder to use whatever spare moments I have to better my marriage, myself and the world around me. There is something for me to do that only I can do!

Dianne said...

Good thoughts here Jennifer. Perhaps the old Army slogan/song works here: "Be all that you can be . . ." (to which my goofball sis and I used to tack on "even if it ain't much!) But truly, if we are becoming what God wants us to be, that's a lot!

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Interesting thoughts! It is a fine line - one that I don't often see clearly. So many parts of motherhood are very menial and might seem less important than those dreams of youth. The good thing is in God's scheme there is dignity in every small task if it is done to the glory of God. I'm thankful for that every time I do dishes!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, the fine line is there, and it's not often clear to me either. I never want to feel like being a wife and mom is "not enough." That's why I try to nurture myself as well so I don't get lost, and can remain open to other areas God wants me to serve.