We planned a birthday party, my second son ran a 1.59.65 in the 800 meter, earning him a state record (probably just for the week, but still … ), and my sixth-grade daughter won an honorable mention for an essay contest on character. We shipped our college sophomore back to school, and her older sister journeyed with her to Chicago so they could see a show together. The three-day weekend felt like a touch of Christmas even as we took the tree down. It’s been a busy week.
The hallmark of a Catholic life is joy in the midst of whatever one is in the midst of living. Every day I make a “to do” list which tells you the necessary things of the day, without noting whether they were done with joy or grimness. The birthday party planned doesn’t tell you the struggle to pare down the list of guests or get their addresses. The track record doesn’t show you the years he’s spent running in every type of weather or all the early-morning trips out to drop him at a meet or give a sense of how many whole-wheat peanut butter sandwiches, sliced beets and extra bananas he’s needed on a daily basis; it shows the result of all those years. The sixth-grader’s award doesn’t tell of her panic and frustration at the blank page or her struggles with rewriting. Each triumph has behind it a story of the effort it took to arrive at the success. They all took time, effort, and will — even when the will wasn’t feeling it.
My victories include taking down the tree, writing two pieces and getting to the gym. The cleaner house doesn’t tell the world the work it took to get there, nor does the scale indicating you weigh less boast about the sacrifice of the prior days. We have Small Success Thursday so you can brag a little, about those moments when something happened which otherwise would get lost in the next “to do” list of things one needs to accomplish.
Your efforts matter. They result in a cumulative effect. Prayer erodes sin, love thaws indifference, and daily struggles against minutiae and clutter eventually clear away much of the minutiae and clutter. A book is written one word at a time, and a soul formed moment to moment by the love encountered and shared. We’re all in the midst of shaping and letting ourselves be shaped by grace, by love, and by willingness to struggle. It will take a lot more cumulative effort to get the house cleared, grow in wisdom and capacity as a writer, and get fit, but one day, one moment at a time. Here’s to cooperating with grace and being willing to struggle. Happy Small Success Thursday!
What small successes are you celebrating this week?
Copyright 2018 Sherry Antonetti