The stubbed toe.
The traffic jam.
The report due by 3 p.m.
The gossiping relative.
The mortgage payment.
The gross diaper change.
The unexpected car repair.
The lost wallet.
The rude person at the grocery store.
The head cold.
This is the stuff of ordinary life. In each of these moments we are faced with a choice: God’s will or my will, sanctity or sin. We often think saintliness is the product of the right circumstances. If only we had more time, we would pray. If only there were no annoying people, we could love others. If only nothing bad ever happend, we might be thankful and patient.
But holiness isn’t a matter of perfect circumstances. They don’t exist. Holiness is what we do with imperfect circumstances.
Daily life gives us a thousand opportunities to prove we love God. Sadly, we waste most of them, going through life on auto-pilot, responding through instinct and passion and never really choosing to make our lives something more.
A cross is when God’s will and our will intersect and are at odds. Sanctity is when God’s will and our will run parallel to one another. Each day, each moment, we are faced with the choice—embrace God’s will revealed in everyday circumstances, or resist and fight his sanctifying work in our souls. The choice we make determines our fate.
The proving ground for holiness? The fiery forge that makes saints? It isn’t some painless utopia where everything goes our way. No, it is nothing other than the often irritating, painful, frustrating circumstances of everyday, humdrum life.
What will you do with them?