Follow me, follow you

Only three more days until Christmas, and I was thinking of how stressful it can be to avoid the rush and crush. It can take a lot of energy to try to remain calm, avoiding the crowds, staying out of the way. Then I went to the library. There’s a nice, relaxing, quiet place.

I think too often we are working to satisfy others’ expectations, and not focusing on our own and letting them guide us. When we look to others for stability, rather than inside, we step away from being true to ourselves. Not all the time, of course. Sometimes we come in contact with the right person, and our growth is accelerated by what we learn or how we are treated and cared for. When we are centered and balanced, we are able to recognize and acknowledge this person in our lives truthfully.

It’s when we are reaching for something, moving in a direction we shouldn’t, that we follow the wrong person, get caught up in pleasing them or thinking that what they have to tell us or teach us is what we need to hear, when in fact it’s the opposite. And that closes us off to the voice of the Spirit.

With 3 days to go, are you comfortable with who you are, where you’re going, and what you’re doing? If not, you might want to take stock of your situation.

Peace and happiness this holiday season, and every day of the year.

Christmas in 9

With only 9 days until Christmas, the pressure mounts on those who procrastinate. One thing to keep in mind, (which one of my recent reflections talks about) is that too often we find we are buying presents so that we will appear to be someone we are not (though this may be unintentional or not foremost in our minds). We could be trying to keep up with other relatives and their buying habits, trying to buy the admiration and love of our spouse/children/etc., or just wanting to appear the magnanimous one.

I suggest instead consider who you are – and what gift(s) would reflect you the best. Of course, at this time you’ll also come across the old saying (I’m not sure how old it really is, though), of ‘presence, not presents’, and though this states the obvious about which is more important, I don’t believe it goes far enough.

What else could you do to extend that presence, even with a small present?

Peace, John

New item on website

I’ve added a highlighter to the website. What this allows you to do is highlight part of the page and send it to a friend, add it to your facebook page, etc. I’ve highlighted some spots on other links plus one post here, to try it out. It looks kind of neat! (Okay, playing again, but hoping to make the site more user friendly – though I know I have to be careful about making it look too busy.

My next thoughts will be coming this weekend.

Peace to all.

Second Sunday of Advent

A second candle is lighted, if you use the Advent wreath in your house. Mine’s still atop the fridge, but I hope to bring it down this week and dust it off. It might help me slow down a bit during this time of increased hectivity. That word could be considered a sniglet, from Rich Hall’s HBO program of the 80’s called Not Necessarily the News. I’m not a big fan of the gospel of Matthew, but that’s what we have for this year, so I’ll use it to reflect on specific little things.

For instance, in today’s reading, the least in heaven is considered greater than John the Baptist. As a programmer, this could be written this way:

YourRank BOOLEAN;

YourRank¬† :=¬† LEAST(‘any person in heaven’,God) > ‘John the Baptist’;

If this is true (as shown above), you should never sell yourself short.

John

Black Friday – Cyber Monday encircle Advent

I always find it appropriate that Black Friday and Cyber Monday occur near if not around the first Sunday in Advent. In this case, they bookend it. I’ve written my reflection for this Sunday and one comment I received was from a friend and priest wondering how others viewed the eschatological texts, the readings about the end of the world.

My thought was that we spend too much time focusing on the end, and miss the being here. So I turn the focus to the now, not the future. I didn’t shop on Friday (okay, I had to work), but that’s nothing new. I’ve maybe gone once in the last ten years. And other than ordering something I need for the house, I don’t plan on doing Cyber Monday either. Notice how they’re extending the sale days, anyway?

Stay simple, stay real,

John