-Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings, thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.
-Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind.
-Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising, thank you Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.
-Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, and tempers are short, my children are so loud, thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are alone.
-Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced, thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are so many who are hungry.
-Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.
-Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, thank you, Lord, for life.
(Mikey’s Funnies, 11/27/19)
Moving ahead in December, I also remember an interesting article about “wisdom” and its impact on the holiday celebrations. Father Richard Rohr provided some inspiring insights, noting, “Wisdom is not gathering more facts; it is a way of seeing and knowing the same old ten thousand things, but in a new way.
As my colleague Cynthia Bourgeault often says, ‘It’s not about knowing more, but knowing with more of you.’ I suggest that wise people are those who are free to be truly present to what is right in front of them.” Thinking about that suggestion, the capacity for being “free to be truly present” is sometimes difficult during the hectic holiday season. What does it take for us to be truly present?
I think our sacred traditions help us out! For instance, when we receive communion, we involve our senses: seeing the bread and cup, smelling, touching, and tasting those elements, and hearing the soft music and words of institution (helping our minds picture the “first” Last Supper).
The Hanging of the Green Service on December 1st introduces the season with some songs and history of our seasonal spiritual practices. Our other Sunday mornings will focus on preparing for the blessed event, helping us in “holy waiting” during the hectic pre-Christmas pace of life.
Rohr also reminds us that (in this holiday season) “presence is the one thing necessary to attain wisdom, and in many ways, it is the hardest thing of all. Just try to keep your heart open and soft, your mind receptive without division or resistance, and your body aware of where it is and its deepest level of feeling. Presence is when all three centers are awake at the same time!”
May we be more present… awake to our sacred traditions of Advent!