Daily Reflection
August 26th, 1999
Linda Wood
Student, Christian Spirituality Program
1Thessalonians 3:7-13
Matthew 24:42-51

I find myself rushing around these days.  Getting my sons ready for the start of the school year, cleaning up the house and yard following a roof restoration, and mopping out the basement after our recent rainstorm have occupied my time at home.  And then there is all the work at the church where I am employed.  An awfully lot to do, it seems.  But I’ve noticed that in the midst of all this busyness, I have found myself longing for retreat, for Sabbath, for idle time.

“Stay awake,” I read in today’s passage from Matthew, “because you do not know the day when your master is coming.”  And I realize how very asleep I have been, how unaware of God’s presence in my life and in the world, and how I have allowed having a lot of things to do to separate me from the love of God.Anthony DeMello writes that, “Love springs from awareness.”  In order to truly love, and to know the Love that surrounds us each and every moment of our lives, we must, he tells us, learn two types of awareness.  The first is to see clearly the other -- the person, object or reality -- as it really is.  “And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your selective way of looking.”  What good is it, he asks, if we perform an act of service for someone whom we have not even taken the trouble to really see?

The second awareness is an awareness of self, “to ruthlessly flash the light of awareness on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your tendency to control and manipulate.  This means calling things by their name, no matter how painful the discovery and the consequences.”   I would add that we must also become aware of our gifts, our strengths, and of the ways in which we are blessed with competence, that we might appropriately thank the Giver and use these skills for the building of the reign of God.

Today’s psalm reminds me that God’s time is not my time.  When I busy myself with work and chores, what I am telling myself is that tomorrow, or the next day or the next, I will give myself time to become aware of God.  But how sad for me, to miss the love that is poured out for me today.  How sad, too, to ignore the cries of my heart, to dishonor my deepest self in favor of a sleepwalking existence.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having a lot to do.  But during these times I must be careful to make sure that I also honor the deep desires of my heart, the longing for quiet time and reflection that are so essential to my being.  And I must not allow the many tasks I have to do to become blinders which keep me from seeing the Divine Other in all God’s many manifestations.  For it is only in this honoring, this awareness, that I can be truly awake to the coming of Christ in every moment of my life.

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