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An Unexpected Gift

December 7, 2009

By Sister Sheila 

Wow!!!  These are certainly busy days in this season of Advent and preparation for Christmas and I am so caught up in all of that plus the demands of ministry right now.  What I wouldn’t give for a little bit of time and space for quiet in the midst of all the frenzy.  It is, after all, Advent – a time when I would like to be more reflective and have more time for prayer as we await the coming of Jesus.  But somehow it doesn’t always turn out that way. 

Some would say “oh, you are a sister and you live in a convent with a community of sisters, you have plenty of time to pray and be refective.”  Well I am here to say that the reality of my life is very similar in many respects to that of most other people.  It is so easy to get caught up in the many demands of ministry/work and, at this time of year, to also get caught into the many social events, holiday shopping, baking and attentiveness to others be they family, friends or co-workers.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things when kept in perspective but in December I always feeling as if everything is spinning out of control and I am just running in place.  But every year I wish for time to put it all aside, to be quiet and to sit in the stillness for just a short while.

Yesterday was an answer to prayer!!!  Late Saturday night, after a very full day and evening, I sat down at my computer and looked at my calendar and was startled…Sunday was completely and totally blank.  How could this be, in December, dare I say, a “FREE DAY.”  So I started to think, what will I DO with a free day???  What can I GET DONE????  Where SHOULD I GO???  With my mind full of possibilities I went to bed and slept soundly.  I awoke refreshed and while in the shower it came to me…today I will do nothing.   I will just BE in the moments of this day.

And what a glorious day it was.

Except for a brisk walk, I stayed in the house, spent time praying, reading, listening to music and just listening to the quiet.  It was a very good day!  It was a refreshing and re-newing day and one that helped me put Advent and Christmas back in perspective.  I needed that day more than I thought and God gave it to me unexpectedly with no time for planning it all out.  That was a good because the day just unfolded from morning till evening.  It truly was a pure Gift of God.

I hope that your Advent/Christmas will hold some free time for you. You can take time even in the busyness.  Maybe not a whole day but some piece of a day to call your “God-time.” It does make a difference and does help focus on the real meaning of this Advent season, of waiting for Jesus to be born anew in our hearts, our homes and our world.

Peace to you!

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