During his homily this past Sunday, our pastor talked about how in ancient times people would be sent ahead to clear the roads for royalty. These servants and slaves would be picking up rocks and pebbles so that the ride would be smooth for the monarch.
The idea of people toiling for the benefit of one might seem a bit strange to us now. But, he used this as a launching point about the call for US to clear impediments to our being closer to God.
Advent is all about preparing for Christ’s coming. Okay, we know that He came many years ago in Bethlehem. However, He still comes to us today. But, how can we receive Him when there are giant boulders blocking the road to Him?
What are some of the boulders we have blocking us from living the life Christ calls us to live?
- Choosing self over others
- Distractions or entertainment
- A sense of unworthiness
- Valuing the worldly over the eternal
As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve probably fallen into all of those boulders at times.
That ‘ego’ in us definitely lobbies to put our own needs and desires over that of others. We see it full force in toddlers, but if forced to take a hard look we can see it into adulthood. Sometimes we need to put the good of the many over that of the few, even if it personally ‘hurts’ us to do so. John the Baptist had a good sized following in his ministry, yet he declares ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!” and then faded away to let the light shine where it belonged.
Distractions abound these days. Facebook, Twitter, endless emails, texting, TV, movies, etc. ~ all of these tools or sources of entertainment can easily take over our lives. While I do not go into ‘withdrawal’ when away from electronics, I can see that there are days when the computer just beckons for me to check something quick and then in the blink of an eye I’ve spent an hour on it. I’ve also witnessed how my boys during the recent power outage started to get ‘itchy’ over what they could do without anything electronic.
That sense of unworthiness has hit me at times. Am I worthy of all that God has given me or His love? By man’s definition, how could we ever truly be worthy. Yet, all God asks of us it to try to grow closer to Him. He’ll supply the Grace to close the gap. Armed with that knowledge, I can push aside the doubt when it arises and see it as the ‘boulder’ blocking my path that it is.
Finally, there are so many wonderful things in this world that can entice us. Yet, if we do not have the eye on the goal (Heaven!), it is easy to get sucked into the belief that we need to be working for earthly treasures. Once on that merry-go-round it can be hard to get off. But, the peace that comes from seeking that which is truly valuable is worth it!
Many thanks to Father Tom for the wonderful homily and food for thought.
So, what are the boulders you are clearing off the path this Advent?
This post is being linked up to this week’s 40 Days of Seeking Him meme. I hope you will come back to share more during this season of Advent.