Monday, November 29, 2010

Are You Tired?

Women of Faith:
Are you tired? I am. And I no longer have kids at home to chase after, or pick up after, or cook for or any of the other things they need. But who do we ask for help?

How do we slow down? How do we anticipate and prepare for Christmas (or get thru the day) physically, mentally and spiritually?

It’s Advent, the time of preparation for the birth of Jesus, for Christmas. In society it is a time of rushing around, attending Christmas parties, cooking, and of course, shopping.

How often have you said, or heard someone else say: “I can’t wait to get it (Christmas) over with?” I know I have been there many times—too busy to even enjoy a simple conversation or sit down to a meal with our family, yet alone take a prayerful moment for myself, or have time to help a friend without worrying about what I have to get ready for next.

But What Would Jesus Do? How would he be asking us to prepare our lives for His birth?

As our priest said yesterday, “I won’t be politically correct.” This is a time to Slow Down! It is a time to prepare spiritually, not materialistically; to prepare not for a “social” party but for the Birth of Christ; to prepare NOT for presents; but instead to prepare for His Presence-- Jesus’ presence in our lives.

It is not Christmas liturgically until Christmas Eve, and then we should joyfully worship, celebrating Jesus’ birth, and His very real presence in our lives. But as the readings today said, we are supposed to be “awake” and ready, not so tired we just “want it to be over with.” Mt 24:37-44 & Rom 13:11-14

So until Christmas think about how Advent is intended to get us ready, slow us down, and awaken us spiritually. Ask God to become a more “real” part of your life, so that we can be ready for the true Christmas gift—Jesus.

Try to take some time each day for silence, to ask God for the needs of your heart and to hear His whispering presence, comfort and support in your life. Pray that He will prepare our hearts and make us ready for His presence. And just as we have to ask God for what we need, ask your spouse for help in managing the kids and the house work (or a friend or family member if you have parents or someone else to take care of) so that you can have that moment of quiet time. And if you don’t have young children ask your spouse to join you in slowing down and praying; or volunteer your time to someone who needs a break from their busyness, to allow them a chance at that very important quiet time.

Let’s teach our children (and be an example to our friends) about the priorities of the Advent season (and Christmas). What is Christian life really all about? Let’s make Jesus our priority and slow down. Let’s be quiet enough to let Jesus inspire us and build us up in times of busyness and the day to day tiredness.

I challenge us all to Make Jesus the REASON for the SEASON.

Dear God, I praise your light in the darkness. I ask for your Presence in every aspect of my life. Help me to make you my priority. Help me to have the self control to deny myself more “toys,” and instead focus on the needs of those who don’t have food and warmth. Give me rest when I am weary. Help me to quietly find Joy, Peace and Love in your presence as I slow down to prepare for Your coming this Advent Season. Thank you for Your promise of the greatest Christmas gift ever, Your son, Jesus. Amen.

Blessings in the Silent Preparation,

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