Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

December 14th, 2007

Chandra Francis

Sophomore, Pre-Med, Exercise Science Major and Biology Minor

Is 48:17-19
Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
Mt 11:16-19

"I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." Isaiah 48:17-19

Listen. From day one, I learned the importance of the Ten Commandments and the words of the Bible. As a child, a list of do’s and don’ts was nothing new. Many years later, I find the innocent task of obeying a little more difficult than my youth would like, thanks to a little problem called independence and temptation. My relationship with God was considerably easier at a younger age. I could talk to God as though I were talking to my best friend. I could listen and heed His words such as “obey your mother and father” and the other Commandments as though there was no other option.

As I grew older, something changed in me to make those few simple rules a little more difficult to follow. I went to church, said my prayers every night, and attended Sunday school, but my relationship with God was at a stand-still. I no longer talked with Him, I talked to Him. I did a great deal of praying and asking, but not nearly enough listening. On the few occasions where I did try and listen, I found myself expecting to hear or feel something right away. Eventually I would get distracted and completely forget that I was trying to find some meaning in the first place. I work hard to follow the Commandments and listen to God’s directional advice, but I am not exempt from the occasional selective tuning or deafness to His words.

This reading really reiterated, for me, the importance of the task of listening, and helped check myself on the priorities of my faith and relationship with God. “I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." (Isaiah 48:17-19) These words serve as friendly advice to all who hear them: listen, live, and you will be rewarded. Listen. God does not benefit from our adhesion to His words; the benefit comes solely to us. It is our choice, and it is not always easy. Temptation and other circumstances are constantly at work to bar us from following God’s plan. Advent is an important time in lives for many to reevaluate his or her relationship with God. Advent is not only a spiritual time, but an extremely challenging period for me. It may be a time of reflection and focus, but falls in one of the most materialistic and distracting seasons of the year.

Listen. It is easy to get lost in the commercials, advertisements, and promotions of the holiday season, but it is important to remember the true meaning of Christmas; it can not be found behind the display case at a department store, or underneath a Christmas tree, but rather it is found within our hearts. For me, a relationship with God is the ultimate Christmas gift. It is still not always easy for me to focus on the importance of God’s wisdom and love, and I have found that it takes practice. God’s wisdom and love are present everywhere, it is simply a matter of focus.

Advent is the time for focusing. It is a time when we can step back and listen to the important things in life, and in our faith. I encourage you to challenge yourself to look past the business and stress that many people associate with this time of the year. Simply listen and marvel at the gifts in your life. Isaiah’s words should serve as a beacon of hope to all as we journey into the Christmas season. If we open our ears, we open our hearts directly to God.

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