“…And you know what he said? He said, ‘It’s good to want, Tracy.’”
I chuckled to myself at the memory.
My daughter was less than impressed. “I know, Mom. You’ve already told me this story…”
Had I? I couldn’t remember. But it’s true I’m often recounting tales from my childhood with my own children. I do so as an example.
My parents were very wise people.
My father was a man of quotes. I don’t know if he made them up or heard them elsewhere but he had a slew of them up his sleeve. He repeated them so often that they’ve been ingrained in my memory.
When I complained that things weren’t fair, he’d say, “Tracy, the fair is where you go to see the horses and the pigs.”
When I whined about life in general, I’d hear, “In each one’s life, a little rain must fall.”
When I wanted something he considered unnecessary, he’d inevitably say, “It’s good to want.” End of story.
My father gave me wise words designed to teach.
In my teen years, I often begged to stay out later, and he’d say, “Tracy, nothing good happens after midnight.” I later learned in college that this was pretty much true.
When I got old enough to have a say in my curfew, he’d (jokingly) tell me, “Don’t call me if you go to jail.”
You know what? I did go to jail. It was a minor infraction, a cops teaching teens a lesson kind of thing. And though I hesitated for a minute, I did call my father (who else was I going to call?). And yes, he came to get me.
My father may have been disappointed in my behavior, but he was there for me. He helped me through the situation.
My father showed me love through his actions.
My mother had a few sayings of her own. Her words helped me in times of great duress.
When life got difficult and I wasn’t sure how to get through a situation, my mother would tell me, “The only way out is through.”
When I felt like giving up, when things looked hopeless, my mother would remind me, “This too shall pass.”
When I struggled to take a risk, my mom, who knew I tend to doubt myself, would always say, “I think you should do it.”
My mother believed in me and gave me hope.
Now, everything is different.
My mom is gone, I’ve been without her for almost two years.
My dad is in assisted living, his memory not what it once was.
My words of wisdom and encouragement now come from a different place.
When I need words for how to live, I go to the Bible.
When I need direction, I pray.
When I need to hold on to hope, I focus on scriptures.
And you know what?
Just like my parents, God gives me wise words designed to teach.
Just like my parents, God shows me love and grace.
Just like my parents, God believes in me and gives me hope.
When life doesn’t feel fair, when things don’t go the way I want, when the only way out is through, I now turn to my heavenly Father.
I want nothing more than to lean on him, rely on him.
I want the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Sometimes it’s hard to hold on to my faith. And I admit, I fail, over and over again. Worry usurps trust.
I want so badly to get better at this. And so, I will keep trying.
He may have meant something completely different, but my dad had it right: It’s good to want.