Advent 2nd

Well, the second candle is now lit. We are beginning the 2nd week of Advent. How are we doing? That really is not a fair question, because a change of attitude, a different perspective is not easily accomplished. Definitely, it does not come about, in just a week’s time. But as we know from past attempts, a new beginning, a fresh start can happen at any time.

What we know from our past is that a new diet, a better outlook, a well-intentioned new start can quickly fade into just one more aborted false start. Why do you think that is? What causes us to falter so predictably, and so suddenly? We think to ourselves, “This time, I will make it happen. It will be different this time. I will make this a challenge that I cannot lose”. And so, with all the good-intentions of the world we begin anew. We might even make better progress than ever before, but in the end we trip, we stumble, we fall.

If I may suggest, maybe we rely on ourselves too much. We feel that this time WE will do it right. But, you see, we are weak. We have the effects of all the bad choices, which have ever been made, handed down to us. We call that Original sin. What the first sin was is unimportant. But it was the beginning of mankind’s reliance on self and not God. He created us to blend with Him, to merge with Him and gave us our Free Will to do so.

Our lives, our job, our weight, even our goodness, these are not goals in and of themselves. They are not the ends that demand our attention. All of them are important, yes. But how we address each of them must be associated with our God. We cannot pray to God with the thought of, “Oh please, let me be better, let me do better.” As good as that sounds, we are praying for our own goals. We are praying so that an end that we see as desirable may be achieved.

Think of God, the Creator. Think of Jesus, our Teacher and Savior. Think of the Spirit of God who enlightens us. This Triune God loves us so very much. He desires us to mesh with Him. He created us so that we could have the satisfaction of using our free will to embrace Him.

When we begin a task, start it with a union with this God who loves us. Pray to Him. Embrace Him. Ask Him for His guidance. In such fashion is trust built up. By doing this, we come closer to the prime reason for our existence. This is not a one and done deal, however. Begin each day, with a prayer to offer this day and all of our actions to Him. Mean it. Think of yesterday with its successes and failures. Resolve to make our lives a gift to Him. Our struggles then become a prayer. Our pain and sufferings become a prayer. Our daily actions and choices give God a continual, “I love you”.