Advent Day 16: Being Present

Advent Day 16

…on your wondrous works, I will meditate.  (Psalm 145)

Do you know anyone who will drop everything to be “in the moment” with a friend in need?  Or anyone who is easygoing, willing to change if the needs of the moment change?  Those are great attributes to have in a friend, and many times, in a supervisor.  Yet I know many young adults struggling to change their easygoing, in-the-moment nature, because that way of being gets them in trouble at work. 

What kind of friend would we like God to be?  The friend who goes with the flow, or the friend who keeps us on schedule?  I think the answer to that question depends on the individual.  However, I do have a thought about our side of the relationship with our Creator.  Regardless of our personalities, we could benefit from being in the moment with the One who loves us.

Our lack of attention to the present is both a symptom and a cause of our disconnected relationship with God.  How do we start paying attention?  It would be great to have hours for quiet prayer each day, but for your average young adult, taking that much time would only result in feeling further behind.   Try one of these two options as a different way of using the moments you are given.

  1. Take a break from the clock.  Some people are always worried about their next appointment, or traffic, or being late.   If you are one of those people, scheduling time for prayer or meditation will be tough, because you will be worried about ending on time.  Try this instead:   go to a church service or holiday choir concert, and show up really early.  Sit and listen to the choir practice before worship, or sit quietly in the sanctuary.  You’ll get a good parking space (hey – I know your type!), and you’ll feel secure, knowing that even if you lose yourself in prayer you won’t be late for the main event.
  2.  Take a break from tasks.  Some people are not so worried about time, but are concerned about getting everything done.  If this applies to you, prayer may feel like another chore on your long to-do list.  Here’s an idea for you:  say you wake up on a Saturday and have a big pile of dirty clothes.  Do laundry for exactly 30 minutes or 1 hour, and then stop.  Take a 30-minute break to do something completely different, such as reading or going for a run.  (Exercise and reading are probably on your to-do list anyway!)  Then go back to your laundry for a set period of time.  This is how some monasteries are run:  each monk does a task for a certain period of time, and leaves when the time is up.  The next monk picks up where the last one left off, and somehow it all gets done.

Finally, regardless of what you do for your prayer time, try to share the wealth and be fully present in the moment with a friend.

Today’s daily Scripture reading from the PC(USA):  http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/12/13/

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