Advent is a time of patience, and our patience is soon to be rewarded!
Among the various reflections I receive daily via e-mail were two that relate, albeit in slightly different ways, to the theme of patience. The first is Eknath Easwaren’s observation that
There is a close connection between speed and impatience. Our culture has become so speeded up today that no one has time to be patient. People in a hurry cannot be patient—so people in a hurry cannot really love. To love, we need to be sensitive to those around us, which is impossible if we are racing through life engrossed in all the things we need to do.
The second is from Caryll Houselander’s The Reed of God (a slim volume worth reading in its entirety). Houselander writes
Strangely enough, those who complain the loudest of the emptiness of their lives are usually people whose lives are overcrowded, filled with trivial details, plans, desires, ambitions, unsatisfied cravings for passing pleasures, doubts, anxieties and fears…. Our own effort will consist in sifting and sorting out everything that is not essential and that fills up space and silence in us and in discovering what sort of shape this emptiness in us is. From this we shall learn what sort of purpose God has for us. In what way are we to fulfill the work of giving Christ life in us?
Speeded up lives, overcrowded with too many nonessentials. Our invitation is to slow down and to lay aside the nonessentials, and to wait and see what God has in store for us.
There are few greater blessings than to awake each morning to Jesus’ kind eyes, warm smile and his gentle voice, “wake up you sleepy head(s). Come, walk with Me. There is work to be done.”
Blessings also to all who often feel overwhelmed and experience a personnel emptiness that cannot be easily, if at all, explained. The best of our intentions and encouragements are often heard and interpreted differently than the spirit in which they were offered and intended. . .
Peace to all whose lives are often filled with . . .
1. Trivial details – To the millions who are all too often on the receiving end of glances and whispers from others who, with the best of intentions, believe they understand what is necessary, important and also trivial – admonishing that “Our own effort will consist in sifting and sorting out everything that is not essential and that fills up space and silence in us and in discovering what sort of shape this emptiness in us is.” A hand extended and an embrace shared often accomplishes as much, if not more, than encouraging words offered. . .
2. Plans – To the millions of those retired who must ‘plan’ most every moment of their lives often choosing between meals and medicine to minimally exist as well as those nearing retirement whose futures are often less bright than those retired.
3. Desires – To the millions similar to the ER staff, public fire, life safety, utility personnel on call, and owners, managers and employees assuring others of product, service or hospitality during holidays, weekends or during routine 8 to 5 work weeks who desire a little ‘heavenly me time’ to spend with family and loved ones. . .
4. Ambitions – To the millions of students and trainees (young, old and re-educating / training) who are attempting to balance family, employment and personal wellness with the rigors of achieving the education and experience necessary to share their new skills with others and hopefully provide a more stable and dignified home for themselves and their families.
5. Unsatisfied cravings for passing pleasure – To each one of us that longs for a respite from the aspects of daily life we have no control over ‘craving’ a warm embrace and quiet moment to whisper an, “I love you,” to those special in our lives
6. Doubts – To the millions who occasionally believe God has abandoned them.
7. Anxieties ¬ – To the millions and millions who have seen their wages continually decline in relationship to the cost of living and whose often tenuous job performance relies on increased, increased and increased productivity that technological advances promise eventual obsolescence.
8. Fears – To the millions and millions who believe the lives and health of their children, their grandchildren and our planet face a bleak if not an unsustainable future.
Will tomorrow be more promising? Might I also hear, “Come, walk with Me?”