And here we are, on the eve of Christ’s birth in this world, of his coming again to us, of his gifts of peace, joy, love and patience, of love and forgiveness. Tonight we will celebrate His birth in the manger, welcoming the new baby into this world. And we will welcome Him into our hearts and minds and souls and bodies where He would dwell with us, not just in the background of our lives, or just on Sundays, but that He would dwell with us, partners in this great adventure, life on this planet, throughout our days, with every issue and challenge that arises. He would be our source of love and forgiveness and embrace and peace in this hostile world. So, let’s really welcome Him with open arms.
We know what is ahead for this baby, not unlike what is ahead of each of us on our journeys through life. There will be pain and suffering, love and forgiveness, challenge and ease, criticism and sorrow, life and death—the whole gamut of human experience. And He knows exactly what we go through, because He not only lived it, he is always there in the thick of it with us and He Himself has experienced it all. And yet there He was, throughout His whole life, held in God’s arms and doing what He was meant to do in this world. And that is what He wants for us—the close relationship to God and fulfilling the purpose for our lives.
Have you held a new-born baby in your arms? Do you know how much love and care and nurturing a baby needs? Have you rocked a baby in a rocking chair? Envisioned his or her future? Have you stayed up nights to feed him or her? Or slept only a few hours at a time? This precious thing that is born into our lives needs nurture and love and a long-term commitment.
The same is true of what God births in us. At least that is my experience. My writing career took six years to launch through an indirect venue—learning Spanish with a tutor. I had no idea that I was taking the first steps towards writing a blog for 10 years now or two books and one in process, when I was writing paragraphs every week in Spanish. Nothing in my life ever said that I would be a writer, except God, and here I am! Six years of Spanish lessons was enough to launch a bilingual blog about the spiritual life in 2008. My tutor became my editor in Spanish, but nine months after I began the blog, she had an accident and couldn’t work anymore. So I dropped the Spanish blog and had an English one.
For three years I posted the blog on my website irregularly, a couple of times a month. Then in 2011 I felt that I needed to commit to writing weekly, so I did. Except for a few weeks of vacation since then, I have posted every Monday since then without fail. And often as now, I have written blog posts weeks ahead of their postings(I am well into March now). When I hear an idea from the Holy Spirit, I write it down, editing as I have time up to its publication date.
I only use this illustration from my life to show how indirect the direction that is birthed in us may be. But that if we are following the interior guidance of the Holy Spirit, all the indirect and seemingly divergent instructions will result in just what the Spirit envisioned for you at your creation, step-by-step, word-by-word.
Questions to ponder over the week: What is Christ birthing in you today? How are you nurturing it? How are you blocking His gift to you? What do you really want for your life? How willing and dedicated will you be to get there? Are your goals and dreams aligned with Christ’s goals and dreams for you? (Just ponder the one(s) that call you?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God whose goals and dreams are aligned with Christ’s goals and dreams for us. May we be true to ourselves and to our God. May we live the life we were designed to live.
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Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life.
I am collecting conversion stories. I am still not sure what the Lord’s intention is for collecting these, but if you would care to share yours, I would only use your initials to identify the author.