Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Recently at a swim meet, our son was swimming in a race that was new to him..the IM. For those of you not familiar with swim meets, that meant he would swim all four strokes. Since he's only eight, he usually only swims two laps of the pool using the same stroke. This would be four laps and all four strokes in a particular order. A big deal for him. So all day we reminded him how the IM would work and rehearsed the stroke order.

Feeling like he needed some more motivation, I pulled him aside before the meet started. I promised him he would get $10 if he would finish the IM in 2nd place or better. I don't know about you, but money motivates at our house! So he swam his race, jumped out of the pool and said, "I get $10 right!" He had finished in 2nd, so I said, "Great job and yes you do!" The next child to swim overheard this conversation. So he says to his parents, "Can I get $10 if I swim a good race?" I quickly apologized to the parents and we got out of their way. That's when I heard the father say, "No son, you know what your motivation is."

Normally I would have just forgotten this whole thing. I don't really know these folks well, but I do know that they are godly, servant minded people. But I couldn't forget the Dad's statement. God was getting my attention; this was a teachable moment for me. I began to think about this verse:

"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 3:23NLT

Too often my motivation is about external things...money, status, chocolate...you get the picture. But God desires that our motivation be purely about Him and that we teach our kids that same lesson. It's difficult sometimes, but this was such a good, visual reminder for me.

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