I love that the days are getting shorter as we move further into this season. Last week there were a few snow flakes in the air. Something about the crispness of Winter coming gives me much excitement. This week I finish the semester for my course work and today was thinking I might attempt to get hooked-up with some Christmas volunteer activity. I thought about ringing the bells for the Salvation Army and might check into it tomorrow. There is something that is pushing me to help others in different ways. My guess is that the last months have been so focused on studying that I need to find a way to get outside of my head and into the reality of other people's needs. This happens with my own teaching, yet I am not spending as much time in the classroom and am missing that connection. Somehow writing this down in the blog might force my hand on following through with my desire to volunteer. And, then again, it might not.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is likely my favorite preparatory song during advent as I reflect on what it means to be in waiting today. Yesterday we (my local community) went to experience A Christmas Carol and while they broke into this very song it echoed through me. I experienced Ebenezer Scrooge while he witnessed his own imprisonment and the shackles that weighed him down seem so apparent. You know last night I had time to think about those shackles and how easily I can see them in others. Then I began to reflect on some of the shackles in my own life and how obvious they might be to others. There is a transparency that we are forced to deal with when in relationships, and unfortunately I think that if we saw ourselves as others do our lives might take a serious change. So, as I was reflecting some of the barbs in my own behaviors began to come to the fore and Scrooge no longer seemed so far away. I then realized that although I can be insensitive, or a jerk, or whatever negative thought comes to mind, there is a core belief that the light will always shine in the darkness. Unlike Scrooge, I know that there is goodness in the world and experience it in so many ways, and this reality has melted my heart over and over again. I hope that all of us recognize the shackles that bind us this season. It is my greater hope that we have the courage and strength to ask for help as we begin to gently remove them from our lives. Blessings as we enter into the second week of Advent!