Sacrifice is hard for me to understand. I mean, it is hard for me to know what sacrifices are acceptable. What is too small, too insignificant? It is also hard for me to know what my attitude should be regarding sacrifice. Am I supposed to be happy when I am making a sacrifice? Does a sacrificial action count if I initially do it begrudgingly and only come to a proper disposition half-way though?
The other day I consciously made what I thought was a sacrifice, albeit a small unheroic one. I simply chose to stay with someone longer than I intended, longer than was convenient for me. I knew staying with this person was important. I knew having companionship mattered to him. During the extended time I had thoughts of other things I could be doing but for the most part I was able to be present to the other and authentically engage with him.
Was that a sacrifice? Was it acceptable? Did it make a difference?
I sure hope that these little sacrifices do matter. Maybe sacrificing in the little things prepares us for the bigger moments. Maybe it is in the little things that we do day-to-day that make us more Christ-like.
Should I be embarrassed that initially I didn’t want to spend the time? Should I beat myself up for not having the perfect attitude at the onset? I don’t think so. But, can I learn to do better the next time? I sure hope so.
“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” St. Therese of Lisieux