Merry Christmas to you all on this most exciting day of the year, which also happens to be my mother’s birthday! I hope that you will join me in wishing my parents a Merry Christmas and my mother a Happy Birthday.
Like all mothers, mine is unique. I do not have the space to tell it all, but let me tell a little. Mum is tireless in helping other people and providing guidance by encouraging action in what she believes to be beneficial. She is also fearless – except when watching thriller type movies. She has confronted drug dealers on the streets and an intruder as he was committing a robbery. She actually continued to confront him even when he pointed a gun to her head.
Mum was a nurse at the QEH, where she was a hero to many mothers and patients as she tried to find ways around the inadequacies of the Hospital. Because of her unselfish love, care, guidance and willingness to help others, I have been shown favour in various environments simply because I was “Nurse Phillips’ son”. Thankx Mum.
I should note that Mum is a disciplinarian. One example will suffice. When I was a lad on my way to junior choir practise at James Street Methodist Church, I noticed a whole cigarette on the road. I put it in my pocket, intending to disassemble it later to see how it was made. I forgot about it and Mum happened upon it while washing my clothes. She did not believe my explanation and washed me in spanks. I then determined that if simply picking up a cigarette could result in such a washing, then to smoke one would certainly require a resurrection. Needless to say, I do not smoke and neither do I advocate smoking.
While my father taught me mathematics, my mother taught me English, and their efforts became the foundation of my engineering and now writing careers. This however was not their greatest influence on my life. Mum taught me something that all four of my grandparents and my father taught me – to walk with the Lord. I have tried to do just that, and despite the challenges of the journey, it has been a most fulfilling experience.
I have many things in common with Mum except her dislike for insects. I do not like to kill anything, and if insects get into the house, then I would prefer to shoo them out rather than kill them. Sometimes I wish that I could communicate with them and show them that they do not need to fear me.
Actually this issue of communication is a close analogy to why we celebrate Christmas. According to the scriptures, God created mankind and hoped that we would mature in our relationships with Him and each other, and in our responsibilities. He also hoped that we would teach our children to mature.
Historically, parents unfortunately tended to live irresponsibly, and few instructed their children in the path of maturity. Priests were then charged with offering sacrifices to pay for the people’s irresponsible behaviour. Eventually religious leaders became the self-proclaimed interpreters of responsible living, and the way to maturity became a burdensome set of rules rather than a liberating way of life.
When Jesus came, He described God’s original intent. He explained how our Creator loves us so much that He wants to adopt us and become our Heavenly Father. The benefits of such a relationship are invaluable. Christmas is the time when we celebrate Jesus’ arrival on Earth.
It is primarily the responsibility of parents to secure the condition of the next generation. Therefore the most important job that people will ever have is parenting, and two important aspects of parenting are encouraging children to walk with God and be responsible. I am grateful for my parents’ guidance in this regard.
What then can I give to Mum on her birthday? She has been blessed with good health, beauty, a cheerful disposition, an active mind, and a kind heart that is always willing to help and guide. I hereby declare that I shall grant Mum one wish. She shall have anything that she asks for or wants from me, without limit – if it is within my power. Of course she shall have another wish if she asks for something that I had intended doing. Happy Birthday Mum.