Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas eve

It has always struck me as strange that despite the fairly clear definition of the word "eve" (as in, short for "evening"), the entire day before Christmas is collectively referred to as Christmas eve. But this is perhaps a small matter.

I found myself thinking more today about an awareness of the Divine in our lives. It is easy to find this in rituals and prayers, if we are putting enough of ourselves into the process. Yet somehow I feel that God whispers to us throughout the day, calling on me to acknowledge the truth in some feedback or criticism I may not want to hear, calling on me to be open to change -- in how I think, feel or behave. Calling on me to be continually growing in compassion, acceptance, love.

In my experience, it is not the grand gestures of the Divine that are most difficult to accept or respond to -- it is the subtle whispers, those signs or messages we can conveniently ignore or discount. It can be easier to stay in old patterns, rather than having to face the anxiety and work of change.

It can also be a trap to assume that God's desires for us all involve having to change or correct something bad in ourselves. Sometimes the most difficult change to do is a profound acceptance of our essential goodness and worthiness. Some of the most profound and important changes are the most difficult for us precisely because they contradict our central ways of perceiving ourselves and our world.

The capacity to be mindful of our own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings -- to rise above them, to respond to them, to listen for messages and signals at odds with our most fundamental ways of seeing things -- this capacity provides us with opportunities to experience grace daily.

I am profoundly grateful this Christmas season for all of my good friends, and particularly those who have been so kind as to share their thoughts and wisdom with me on this humble blog. Peace and blessings, my friends. May this Christmas season fill you with joy and light.


Magdalene6127 said...

A Merry Christmas to you Steve. You strike me as a person who strives to be tuned in to those subtle nudges from God. May Christ be born anew in your heart this season.


more cows than people said...

Merry, merry Christmas, Steve. Getting to know you these past few months has been a gift. Much peace and love and joy to you, More Cows