1 Thes 4_17

Photo courtesy of Joshua Burgard

 

I’ve noticed, ever since a dear friend pointed it out, that at some twelve step meetings they say the Lord’s Prayer a bit differently at the close of the meeting. It is not how they introduce the prayer, and it is not what they say at the end of the prayer. It is how they say “Give us this day our daily bread.” They always pause after the word “day,”  and, thus, it  sounds as if they are asking God to give them this day. Somehow that makes  sense for people who have learned the importance of living one day at a time. This emphasis does not to imply bread is less important, but it does help those saying the prayer to be grateful for now, this moment, and this day.

Sometimes, however, the day we are living may be one we wish we did not have to endure. At  those times,  God is closest to us as he helps us navigate the difficulties contained within that day. I have been “stuck” in such times, and always, God has plowed through the despair that clouds my soul to strengthen and comfort me. Perhaps that is because he always abides in my soul. And, too, I think it is because of the prayers that have been said for me.

I am not just talking about the gift of spiritual support. God sends friends and strangers to speak to my soul—often in unexpected ways, and those unexpected intrusions break through the despair and help me get “back on track.” Perhaps the most important message here is that we never know when we will be instrumental in helping someone else feel God’s grace and love.  However, if we do not try to share God’s love and comfort, if we isolate, if we ignore the pain we see in someone’s face or hear in someone’s voice we will fail at giving that person comfort and support because we miss the opportunity.

I am writing to remind myself and my readers as we all get busy in the “hustle and bustle” our culture wraps around celebrating Christ’s birth to remember to always take time to notice those we encounter and to respond to what we see with care and concern. I tend to get totally engrossed in  doing something to the point that I don’t pay attention to what is happening around me. I need to constantly remind myself to take a deep breath, to feel God’s spirit within me now, in the moment—–and to try to practice  “mindfulness”—-only then can I be aware with all my senses. Only then can I notice when I need to respond to another with understanding and compassion.

Just my thoughts on a gray, cloudy, cold November day. I hope those that will be traveling for Thanksgiving stay safe and that all of us, traveling or not, alone or with others, are able to enjoy being thankful for the many gifts we have been given. Please comment and share your thoughts about today’s discussion. May God bless and keep you.

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