The Waiting Room
Saturday, December 16
Donna McCoy, RPC member since February 2014
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." - Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)
Advent is a wonderful time of expectation and waiting to welcome the Christ child into our hearts and renew our faith. But, we are an impatient people, and we feel rushed about everything during this busy holiday season. There is so much to do to make the holiday season festive, to decorate, to send Christmas cards to those who live at a distance, to prepare to entertain, and to express our love of family and friends with seasonal gifts. All of this is on top of our usual busy lives. Sometimes, it is hard to find time for studying the scriptures and for prayerful meditation to prepare our hearts and minds for the true meaning of Christmas.
At different periods throughout my adult life, I have practiced meditation to reach out to God to enrich my spirit and guide me on the path of life. I want to say I do this consistently, but sometimes I am much more successful than others in finding the discipline and time for this important quest. When I pray, I try to take some time to listen. You cannot hear the still quiet voice if you are talking constantly. When Mother Teresa was asked by newsman Dan Rather, "What do you say when you pray?", she responded, "I listen." In my humble opinion, that's good advice.
When I worked at Juniper Village at Chatham, an assisted living facility in New Jersey, I led a directed meditation and prayer group on Wednesday evenings. It was a source of comfort and renewal for about a dozen people. We learned to turn off the chatter inside our heads and wait in quiet anticipation. We would discipline ourselves to sit quietly until we could bring the healing energy from God into our own body, minds, and spirits. And then, we would send it out to all we knew who were in need. At the end of the evening, we tried to carry that peacefulness with us until we would meet again the next week. We all left the room feeling grateful and at peace.
Dear Lord, we ask that you would speak to us from the stillness, and that you would renew our spirits as we come to understand the depth of your love for us in this Advent and Christmas season. Amen.
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