November 27, 2016: First Sunday of Advent
Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Matthew 24:37-44)
“Wake up!” seems to be a theme today. How often we can find ourselves sleepwalking through our days. Have you ever started out for a Saturday expedition to a strange place and unconsciously found yourself following the same way you usually go to work? Our habits are wonderful timesavers but they can put us on automatic pilot. That’s why most of us need a little alarm clock of some sort in our head to keep us in the present moment. Simply to take a deep breath and actually notice the temperature of the air, how it feels in our nose, on our skin. Look around us at the people we share a home with and breathe in gratitude for their presence. Take another moment to listen, really listen to all the sounds around you. Noticing the taste, smell, feel and sound of our ever-changing environment keeps us grounded in the here and now, the present moment.
Pick out a certain tree you pass regularly and make it a practice to really notice that tree. What color are the leaves, are the top ones different than the bottom ones, what’s the bark like? Let this tree call you to the present moment, perhaps breathe a quick thank you.