What's on your mind?
What fills your mind everyday?
Which, of all the thoughts that run through your mind in every conscious and subconscious moment, take up the greatest percentage?
Could it be that the answers to these questions suggest what we value, what our distractions are, what our priorities are? After all, the thoughts that linger for the most time in my mind are about the very things that I give the most attention to. And isn't it true that what we give the most attention to suggests what we value as most important to us? Therefore, also suggesting what our inner desires are?
This oldie "Always on My Mind" is one of the songs I grew up with. It sings of a man who is reflecting on a failed relationship, who has his ex-lover always on his mind. And having realised his falling short of loving his partner who has left him, he is pining for one more chance, desiring for her to return to him. His mind is filled with nothing but thoughts of his remorse and his hopes. He has lost someone important, though that importance was not realised any earlier.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Advent, the first day of the new liturgical year. Learning more about Advent, I have come to know that this joyful festive season means far more than just a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth at Christmas, a preparation in which I most often find myself clueless in my poor attempts of finding ways precisely to go about this preparation. It extends beyond making room for this baby Jesus through the sacrament of reconciliation. It calls for us to spread our focus to the 2nd and 3rd comings of Jesus too. The first being Christ's birth in Bethlehem, the second being at the end time.
More permanent, concrete and significant is the third coming of Jesus which lies in between the first and second. It is the coming of Jesus into our lives, here and now, everyday and in every moment. And I'd like to think that it is right here in our hearts that He wishes for us to prepare a crib for Him, a home, a dwelling place for permanent residency.
But to think that I not only have to welcome God into my life and make room for Him in my heart over a span of 4 Advent weeks leading up to Christmas but that this is ongoing, daily, for the rest of my life... Wow. Big commitment, big task, overwhelming, intimidating. Maybe not. I don't think this is for me. The thought of "maybe not", perhaps translatable as "I am not entirely willing to make all the necessary sacrifices". It points towards my inner desires (or lacking / weak desires)? I want to be a disciple... but... a part-time one. There are too many things I cannot let go of.
If I exit the arrival hall of the airport and see my most beloved spouse whom I have not seen in a month, I, carrying in both hands the several DFS bags and briefcase and laptop bag..., run over to him. He hugs me tenderly and in my hands, I am still holding on to all the bags of various types. I cannot possibly embrace him and return his hug. I'm carrying too many heavy bags; my hands aren't free to embrace. Not until I drop everything that is keeping my hands occupied, not until I connect with and admit that embracing my spouse is my strongest desire at that moment.
So what have your thoughts been about today?
Our minds cannot think of more than one thing at the exact same time. To think of something requires us to let go and stop thinking of another. To pay more attention to God requires us to pay less attention to other matters that do not matter as much.
How much do you desire for God to enter into your heart and life today?
01 Dec 2012, Saturday