Which would you prefer to see in your daily life?
A person who grumbles as they go about their business?
Or a person who smiles and seems to enjoy what they’re doing?
Now think about it:
Who do you think is happier, living joyfully?
Who do you think inspires and uplifts others more?
Bishop Basil Rodzyanko from Russia said yes to anyone’s request if he was able to fulfill it and it didn’t go against the Scriptures, committed to maintaining his monastic vow of obedience. He rode to Chukhloma, 6 hrs from where he was in Moscow to serve at a parish, when a man came to visit him. On another occasion he and his colleague were in a hurry and a lady on the street asked him to bless her house an hour on the other side of Moscow. He immediately agreed and cancelled their plans, travelling across the busy city to get the necessary items, and back an hour during rush hour to her little house.
He was joyful, sincere, and patient and those he helped exuded gratitude. Not everyone involved demonstrated these traits and were grumpy, doubtful, and resistant about the circumstances.
If the Bishop did the service and house blessing begrudgingly, making a big deal of its inconvenience, would he have made as much of a positive impact on the people he helped? Would he have been at peace in the process? Likely not. If we are grumpy while fulfilling God’s will what message are we sending others?
If we love God with our heart and soul wouldn’t we do the activities we find ourselves in with joy, because it’s where God placed us?
Mary, the Theotokos, was humble and obedient, open to God’s will, no matter what befell her, including losing her child, because she knew her part in God’s plan. “Throughout the Church’s entire history, she has taught the faithful to do whatsoever He said” (Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic). She told the servants at the wedding of Cana “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it” (John 2:5).
If we lived our lives being open to where we were, at that moment, we could find ourselves being used by God in marvelous ways: to bless or inspire others. I know it’s not an easy task, but I think if I strived to live more like the model of Mary or the Bishop Basil Rodzyanko I have would have more peace in my heart too.
May we find the beauty and purpose in wherever God places us and be open to His will so that we can go about our daily lives with joy and peace.