28 November 2016

Advent Beginnings

Truly to me, this consideration, that his mercy is new every morning, so his grace is renewed to me every minute, that it is not by yesterday's grace that I live now, but that I have my daily bread, my hourly bread, in a continual succession of his grace, that the eye of God is upon me, though I wink at his light, and watches over me though I sleep...
- John Donne

Over a cup of steaming tea, I contemplate these words, and the meaning of recognizing the new mercies of every morning. Even with the nuances of everyday, our days begin refreshed. We are hit quickly from the moment we wake up with worldly distractions that seek to distract us from distraction. 

As we enter the Advent season, it grows only more distracting. Our minds become cluttered with all the crowds of shopping and getting here and there. Our culture rushes into Christmas with items on sale weeks before Thanksgiving, so that we are already tired of Christmas before it even arrives. We lose sight of the story of darkness traveling to light. We become distracted with the parties, gifts, errands, and "doing things".

I don't want Advent to fly by in this state. I wish it to be filled with meaning and deeper appreciation of the arrival of Jesus. This is my goal for the season. To be fully present and taking moments to simply think about the story as if I was in the story and seeing it unfold. It is an event that changed history, but we do not have the B.C. state of mind, when we live in A.D. Can we think from a perspective of B.C. for a little while to gain the transition from darkness to light?

But in the end solitude is not so much a place as a state of mind and heart: it is the ability to enter into the desert of the heart, the poustinia, the inner cave of the heart, however one might wish to describe it. It is an inner attentiveness to God, a continual stream of contemplation which becomes possible even in the midst of crowds, noise, and the demands of daily life.
 - Esther De Waal

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