Wednesday, December 9, 2009

advent 2.4

The busyness flies and flutters around me like massive snowflakes on the other side of the window glass, beckoning me into a frantic dance. Will I have to do another revision? Will I make this deadline? When will I be able to peel the carrots? How will I finish all the grading by Monday? How will I do a two-teaching Sunday? Will I be able to afford Christmas gifts for everyone I love--and when will I be able to shop for them or make them? And have they really not yet let me know if I'm off the hook for jury duty Friday! My pulse quickens; my stomach twists; my breathing grows shallow.

Oh, but now is the time to breathe.

Now is the time to sit beneath the tree lights in a darkened living room, to be still for a moment, to discipline the anxious mind-wandering. What is so important? What is so overwhelmingly urgent? My to-do list? My carrot-peeling? Really?

One of the things that I must accept in this week, in the spirit of Mary's acceptance, is that I am not the center of everything. Daily life is significant, meaningful in all its mundane details: this I strongly hold. But my tasks, my responsibilities, my worry--these require the correction of a wider view. And the wider view is this: we are players in a story much larger than we could ever fully imagine, relating to a Holy One whose story, if fully written, would occupy more pages than the earth could contain.

My several dozen pages of writing--what is it, in this perspective? The writing I must do this week matters, yes, but not so much that it should occupy all my thoughts; not so much that it should slide over into every quiet moment; not so much that it should leave no room for warm-blooded friends. So hello, friends. I am thinking of you in this moment. And I will see you soon.

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