Thursday, December 12, 2013

So you want to be a saint?

Looking for a path to self-betterment?  Try getting married and having kids.

I can't imagine a better way to make it to sainthood.

Of course, this implies that you are the kind of person who will compromise, be patient and work hard at staying married and raising healthy kids.

Because your marriage and your kids will require constant patience, and compromise.  You will consistently be reminded of all your shortcomings, and you will be required to admit to them and work at overcoming them.  Your faults will consistently be brought up, if not directly, then at least indirectly, by the consequences of things done, left undone or done badly.  Every fail will be revisited.  Every shortcoming will haunt you. You will be forced to learn patience in the dead of night after one more sleepless night in a row of sleepless nights.  You will learn to bite your tongue instead of lashing out.  You will learn humility, you will learn that you are not perfect.  You will learn that you do NOT in fact know how to communicate and that you need to learn again how to communicate. And then just when you think everything is going well, your kids will suddenly turn into their own persons, and have different points of views, and you will have to deal with that as well.  And sometimes you will have to let them make their own mistakes, and you will have to learn to step back and stop trying to control everything, and then you will question everything you do, are you doing too much, are you doing too little?  Should you be be showing anger at the seemingly outrageous thing they just did, or should you be showing understanding, because maybe they're going through something really hard?

It will be one long learning process, one long rearranging of yourself, readjusting of yourself, re-committing to your engagement.  Some days you will want to scream.  Some days you will shake your fist at God and ask Him, could He stop it already with the potter's hand, turning you into the perfect vessel, and doesn't He think you're good enough yet?

Apparently He does not.  Because He will just keep at it, throwing you curve balls, opening trap doors and keeping you on your toes.  Because you haven't learned your lessons well enough yet.  Because you need to pray harder, and you need to let go and let God.  Because even top athletes still go through constant training, in order to achieve near perfect results.  Because if you don't stay on your toes, you lose your edge.