How often in our lives are we challenged by the seemingly small things in our day or on our to-do list? How attentive are we when doing those many mundane chores that don’t seem very significant? For me, there are many times I really have to slow down and be aware of being present if I am to do even the most menial daily tasks with great love.
Most often we are sanctified by looking to the Lord for love and living each moment, doing each minor task set before us as if we were carrying it out for Jesus Christ Himself. Does that include washing another load of laundry, preparing another meal, doing more dishes, paying the bills, being the chauffeur, holding the door for someone, smiling to cheer someone else up, and being friendly even when you don’t feel like it? Yes, it includes all of those things and many more.
Our most important conversions and service to others may look different from those St. Thérѐse of Lisieux and others have experienced and performed, but we need not be discouraged by our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness as long as we come running back to Christ each time we have turned away and allow His Mercy and Love to wash over us once more.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges in life and certainly in growing closer to the Lord is accepting how small and feeble we are, how liable to make mistakes, how likely we are to try to run from or hide our weaknesses rather than embracing them. I would have to say that I’m very apt to get frustrated, flustered, and upset by my many imperfections. There seem to be so darn many, and they don’t get resolved permanently, so I have to keep coming back to Jesus over and over for the grace to do better. The magnificent, saving grace is that He doesn’t get sick of us returning to Him once we’ve messed up. Not now, not ever.
It’s really quite a tiring project to fall down and get back up a bazillion times (Just ask any toddler trying to learn how to walk), but when we are welcomed and comforted by a loving Lord ready to embrace us with open arms after yet another fall, we have the incentive to keep going. What God calls each of us to do, though, is to let our vulnerability and humanness be the biggest, most urgent inspiration for us to acknowledge how profoundly we need His Mercy every minute of every day. We try and do things on our own, make our own rules, use our own strength, test our own wisdom and pride, and because we have the gift of free will. He lets us.
So often we rush through or even neglect the less glamorous, smaller tasks that we’re given to carry out in pursuit of great, noble undertakings, yet, it’s the little mundane things that St. Thérѐse realized as being prime opportunities to exhibit God’s love if we are fully in the present moment. I can’t imagine what a huge difference making an effort to be fully present to God’s grace each moment will make in our marriage, our home, our family, our relationships, and ministries, but I intend to find out.