Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent Reflection VIII: Humility and Presence

Wait! Wait! Wait! Everyone's preparing, but I've just begun to wrap my head around the waiting theme I've spent the last week exploring. Once I got the idea of waiting into my head, it quickly moved to my heart in painful ways, and I find myself in relation to God through all the rest of the people. I won't call them "others" because I have no delusion that there are any "others." Not even one. There's only us.

How do we pay attention to us? How do we have a conversation that we don't feel a need to check out of to look at our phone, the box score, or the people at the next table? You know when you do it. I know when I do it. We all know with whom we do it, and with whom we would never think to do it. What would happen if we were deeply present with the people we don't think need that level of presence from us? What would happen if we thought of presence as a sign of respect? It is. What if I could sing I will not take these things for granted to anyone who walks into my life?

God doesn't turn off the royal telephone, but maybe I need to turn my phone off when it distracts from the task at hand: being present.
Somewhere in my heart I know that if I could just "Pay the fuck attention!" as my dear friend Deb said, the way would be prepared.

Wherever two or three are gathered in humility, knowing that love/god is among and between us with something really interesting to hear; that's where it begins. It doesn't come only from inside one's head or from the NPR or TED talks, but from the ones directly in our path. This shit is hard, but as my friend John McQuiston says: Always We Begin Again. Try, try, try again.

The source of humility is the habit of realizing the presence of God.

- Archbishop William Temple

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