There is an old hymn of our faith which begins with these words: Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
The hymn writer is partially right…it is rare that a heroic choice between truth and falsehood or good and evil is suddenly and clearly required. And in those moments of crisis or judgment, when the dazzling and radiating light of truth stands over against the shadowy darkness of evil, even a small child is capable of making a prudent and righteous choice.
But for Christians, the path of faithfulness more often unwinds itself in long seasons of ordinariness, and in the small habits, the “second-nature” choices we make while we tackle the mundane matters of everyday living. Not once, but every morning, we rise to live as Christ’s disciples in this world. Not once, but every hour throughout the day, we listen—to scripture, to friends, to the witness of God’s Holy Spirit, to the inquisitiveness of our own minds—hoping to hear a living Word and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance, so that we may be more faithful. Not once, but every night, we lie down to rest ourselves trusting not in our righteousness, but in the saving grace of Jesus our Lord.
The true “heroes” of Christian discipleship are not made in a day, but daily. To ignore the opportunities for faithfulness in the little matters of everyday life is to ignore a very central part of Jesus teaching. When crisis times do come—times of spiritual harvest or judgment— they will not make a person suddenly righteous or unrighteous. They simply reveal who already is.
October 14, 2014