Monday, December 18, 2017

Tender attention

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8

I start the oven at 6:00am, not because I am about to set something for an all-day roast, but because I am preparing my lunches for the week and I didn’t get to it last night. In my effort to eat better and pay attention to my health, I am trying to avoid grabbing food on the go.

And I remember that I am under God’s care as well, a green olive tree being nurtured. Although today I feel less like a tree and more like a shoot. Even after more than half a century of relationship with God, I see I have so much to learn, so many ways to grow. My spiritual life needs tender attention as well as my body. My formation into the person God has created me to be is not one long slow season of steady development. Rather it is cyclical—planted seed, delicate shoot, robust maturity, decline and the need to let go—being repeated over and over. Yet, not without change. Each season recalls the one past and reaches forward in hope.

The comfort I find in remembering this enables me to be at ease. To celebrate my vulnerability and embrace this time of renewal. Even as I await with welcome anticipation the tender life of the Christ child.