Sanctification — who rides in the front seat?

“What the crap??….Jerk face.”

I thought we had started out well this morning. Thursdays are chapel days, so the girls have to be at school earlier than normal to practice. Mack gets to spend some quality time with his math teacher (a little extra help never hurt anyone).

Everyone was up and dressed and out the door, seemingly happy, at 7:00am. The mumbling and commotion at the car threw me off. “What in the world is going on out here?”

“She knew I called the front seat.” 

“No I didn’t!! I didn’t hear you say anything about it, so I got up here.”

“Well, Molly heard me. I know she did. (Turns to stare at Molly) Didn’t you hear me??” (Silence from Molly) “UUUGH. Well, fine. Just sit up there every time. You know you sit up there every time. Just act like you didn’t hear me. That is fine. I don’t care.”

After trying to keep the peace, I just started driving. And praying. That is what I do most of the time these days—-drive and pray. 

Just this morning I read I Peter and was reminded of sanctification—this process of becoming holy. ( “Be holy for I am holy.” … “Allow yourselves to be built up as a spiritual house” …“Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit”… “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts” ) It sounds daunting, and it is. It’s dying to my flesh. It’s cooperating, staying in step with the Lord in my daily life…all of those steps in a day add up to a life, so I must mind my steps.

A Desiring God article by Scott Hubbard on the subject of sanctification was in my inbox this morning as well. He quotes Gustaf Wingren from Luther on Vocation, 73: “Sanctification is hidden in offensively ordinary tasks.” (like giving up your right to the front seat, maybe?) Hubbard goes on to write that “very often, holiness hides in small things.”

Small things like unloading the dishwasher. Small things like being patient with my kids during homework time. Small things like picking up drycleaning, taking out the garbage, opening the door for someone, making a phone call to check on a friend, or giving preference to someone else for the front seat on the way to school.

Ruby wanted to practice her song for chapel, so we played it. 

“Jesus, You’re all the world to me. My song, My life, My everything. These riches are dust beneath my feet cause Jesus, You’re all the world to me. Set my eyes upon the hope that never fades. Place my feet upon the Rock that will not shake. Turn my heart from all the things I think I need. Oh Jesus, You’re all the world to me. Oh Jesus, You’re all the world to me.”

Big words to sing. How do we get from fighting over the front seat and name-calling to Jesus being all the world to us? Well, for this mama, I started by sharing about my time with the Lord with my kids. I explained to them that I am much like them. I often want my way, my timing, my comforts, my advancement over God’s way. I am frustrated by my daily tasks and think, “Is this it? Is this what I am good for—cleaning and cooking and driving and mostly for other people???” And I went on to tell them how saints are made at the sink of dirty dishes. I grow to be more like Christ as I give preference to someone else, die to my self. I rest in His goodness when I stop fighting for the limelight. I asked them how old they would be in ten years: “25.”  “24.”  “22.”

“Ten years down the road I am sure you want to be more mature, more godly, more like Jesus, and living out His purposes for your life. Well, those ten years are made up of little steps of sanctification. Seemingly little decisions that will make up a life. It matters what we do in the small, mundane things of life. I can’t be selfish and at the same time say that Jesus is all the world to me.” 

I challenged all of us to let Jesus fill the chasm between our selfishness and His holiness.

Between fighting over the front seat and seeing Jesus as all the world to us. 

Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”

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