The second week of advent is complete. This week when we have considered the candle of Peace there has not been alot of peace. It has been hard to think in terms of peace for people who have been displaced by war. It is hard not to spend time worrying about friends that are too far away, that may be traveling into dangerous situations, whose hopes have been dashed too many times, who now face personal sorrow as well.
We have just had our staff party and it was fun. We had a good time together. And Roger got to treat us all to a little Leonard Cohen.
It is at times like this that I find it difficult to set aside my worries and enjoy the moment I am in. We live lives that are sometimes so comfortable that we forget the sufferings of others, both around us and far away. We would like to live in our fantasy worlds of tinsel and glitter and shiny lights.
And then all of a sudden I realize that I have been so preoccupied today that I forgot a couple of important events – the Santa Lucia open house and the youth parent meeting! Can’t go back and do them now.
I need to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace. I need the peace only he can bring to my life with its worries. Peace amid the chaos of an unpeaceful world.
Reading the book Seven Guides to Effective Prayer by Colin Whittaker lent to me by Randall. I am awed by the power of God shown in the lives of the seven whose stories are told. I feel like I am such a baby when I read what God did for and through them. I think that maybe we are too happy being fed soft food and are not not prepared to have God take us on to the stuff that is harder to chew. We must be missing out on so much that we don’t even know enough to miss.
The one thing that I find most difficult in reading the book is the fact that the stories are all from long ago. There are no stories of people who are working at regular jobs, coping with the daily grind of living and raising a family, reaching the depth of communion with God that I would love to attain. If only I could have the confidence displayed in these stories of God answering prayer. Maybe if I had more time, more faith, more dedication – you know all the questions as well as I do. And maybe you know the lack of clear answers too.
And then I am called back to reality by a child asking me to take them to the mall, and I look at the seven piles of laundry waiting and also realise that this is the world God put me in. I don’t have any revelation, much as I might like it, that I should leave my career, my family responsibilities, and concentrate only on the things of God.
So, I am caught in this inbetween place – my head and heart wanting to be closer to God – my feet planted in the real world with the laundry around them.
It is so reassuring at this time of the year for me to reflect on the humanness of Jesus. He knows what I feel like. He came here and knows just what it is like to be human and limited like us.