Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Magnificent Morning

I went for a 80km ride this morning, alongside PPA's Cape Cobra race, and it was so good to be on the road again, but tough! It was a beautiful morning, no breeze to begin with, crystal clear air, stunning scenery, some baboons and a dead porcupine (who would have thought you could see such 'wildlife' on a Cape Town ride!).

I've just finished reading a guide to the Tour de France and one of the authors commented that before you can see or hear the peloton, you can often smell them. I tested that theory today - and it's true. They smell, these men who race past me averaging 35 - 40km/hr!! It was refreshing every now and again to catch a whiff of deodorant!

I know some of you have entered the Argus for the first time this year, and some of you further afield are riding races mid year, so want a female cycling tip? Put a few drops of Arnica massage oil in the seat of your riding shorts and you will not suffer. Trust me - today I forgot, and 80km is a loooong way!

As I was cycling today, I rode past Ocean View and Masiphumele (a colored and black township respectively). And as I strained up a hill, there were four colored kids sitting on a rock, watching the action. And my heart sank. There were no adults in sight, and these kids were young - probably all about Aragorn and Belle's age (4 and 2). God used this brief  moment to challenge me for the rest of my ride....

 We are so very privileged in ways we aren't even aware of. I know a couple of ladies from Ocean View and the one repetitive comment they make to me is how differently white and colored people parent. It's all about life skills isn't it? The majority of these families are trapped in cycles of violence and abuse. Parenting is about what is modeled to us, what we see from our parents and what we pick up along the way.  No one I know would let their young kids sit on the side of a major road at 0700 in the morning, unsupervised. But for these kids? It's a way of life. And it struck me that all of this also tracks back to the destruction of community - we should be able to learn each other's strengths - but because of Africa''s history, and more specifically South Africa's, it's all been lost.

And God spoke to me about what I write about working mothers - what choice do many of these township women have? I mean really? Some mothers have to work because their money is squandered before it even reaches the grocery cupboards. Others may work to escape oppressive home situations.

I do believe parenting is on God's heart. I do believe the world is intent on brow beating women into believing motherhood has no worth. I believe it is a forgotten calling in today's world, tossed to the side in exchange for luxuries...but there is also a sad reality in poor communities. I'm not sure my stance has necessarily changed for us privileged folk, but I also felt God nudging my heart - who am I to judge? There is an accountability to God - not me.

But, I will continue to encourage and exhort mothers - because it really is beyond this world, it is the most important, this job we are doing.

Food for thought huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment