It sounds cliche to say "it could be worse". But, it's true. It really could be worse, but dang, that orange juice hit the floor with a fury and splashed onto every surface possible. And it wasn't even the giant puddle that put me over the edge. It was the millions of tiny sticky droplets splattering the cabinets, the tile, the refrigerator, the table legs and the dishwasher. On my hands and knees with a wet rag, holding back curse words, I was annoyed. Really, really annoyed. I had to find every drop before my wife got home.
It’s not the first annoyance this week and it wasn't the only one yesterday. They happen all the time. Wifi is down, someone took your parking space, forgot your umbrella, your child locks themselves and the keys in the car, a massive zit on your forehead, the list goes on. Right? Our days are filled with these small inconveniences that if piled on, can really pull us into misery if we let them.
I think it’s too easy to say that things will get better. Because sometimes they don’t. And if it does get better, for how long? So rather than strive for a life devoid of annoyance, I think we ought to simply choose joy. Joy, because the Gospel is way bigger and way stronger than the things that are bugging us.
And the greatest gift of all?... when we accept these little pesky annoyances with joy, they can become for us small daily workouts that strengthen our virtue muscles and make us ready for even bigger trials in the future.
Few of us are given the gift of great trial. Most of us will become saints by enduring great annoyance.
I'm starting to think that when they write our biography, or eulogize us at our funeral, maybe it's not the worst thing if it's our ordinary discipleship that they talk about. Maybe loving God and loving people in our ordinary states of life, enduring small annoyances with grace, and celebrating life as it comes to us, is enough. Perhaps it's in this simplicity and smallness that we are made holy.
"Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4