as we toured monticello, the idyllic home of thomas jefferson, one detail consumed my thoughts. this was a man was faithful to his calling, and he knew how to honor that. we gazed in awe (and moved to tears) at a fraction of his vast collection of books. we wandered through rooms that still stand as testimony to his intelligence, his curiosity, and his standing among men. he was broken and flawed, and he got some things backwards, even while impacting his world in powerful ways.
but what awed me, as a woman who seeks to put first things first, is that thomas jefferson, in this home, lived not just as a political icon and international ambassador, but as a father and grandfather. as the guide described the pattering of feet in the halls of history, i was challenged: there is no calling or “job” on earth worth pursuing, if it does not build the hearts and minds of my first calling: my own children. it is in raising the next generation that i have the most opportunity to impact the world to come. oh, that i may be faithful.