During the years we lived in northern Minnesota, I used any excuse (or none) to take a short drive to Duluth in order to view the Big Lake, Superior. One pristine May morning, I followed a street up, up, up to the top of a hill that overlooks the lake. All the way, I thought to myself, The drive back down will be stunning!
I started back down, taking in as much of the vast blue as I was able. Just as I thought I might explode with joy, my front tire hit a pothole, startling me so much that I burst into tears,
On the first Sunday of Advent 2018, I moved with my coffee to a place by the window, intent on watching the snowfall. Looking up, the bright cast of clouds overhead made it impossible to clearly see the snow coming down. Instead, my eye was drawn to the clumps of white stuff gathered in the shrubs just beneath my window. The simplicity and density of the moment pulled me in.
When we allow ourselves to think that life is primarily about the stunning views, the breathtaking beauty, the heart-stopping excitement, and that only the “big” things matter, we miss the present moment of our own life. We overlook the reality of the here and now, where God dwells, and through which the Spirit works to accomplish the will of God.
When we study the life of the Jesus, we study his interruptions—those many small moments with the one person in front of him. Following a life of obscurity, Jesus gave only three brief years to this. Yet, through the way he lived, Jesus was able to say, “Behold, I come to do Your will, O God.” We, too, are called to live the life God has given us.
Reflect: Guess what? It’s still Advent! If you have a creche in your home, take time to look at it. Realizing that it is not yet the eve of Christ’s birth, remove all of the figures around the creche until you come to the one that corresponds to this present moment: Mary. Tell her what is in your heart.
Journal: God shows up as your life. ~ Paula d’Arcy
What does life want from you? What are your circumstances calling you to do?
Practice: Remember Jesus came feasting! In the coming days, let your eyes feast on light and beauty; your ears on music and meaningful conversation; your mind on prayer and scripture; your heart on love; and your soul on Christ in doing the will of God.