This time of year provides a healthy spiritual challenge for me. My to-do list is relentless and ever growing, each day. Maybe you can relate? I know better than to believe that preparing for Christmas has everything to do with planning, organizing, shopping, baking and making sure we have what we need for our Christmas celebrations. However, at times I seem to get swallowed up in my family’s preparations.
A couple years ago, I remember the checklists and questions swirling around in my head were all consuming! Do my children have appropriate clothing to wear to Christmas Mass? Oh wait, they just grew out of their only dress shoes? Add that to the list! Teacher gifts? Check! Christmas dinner menu planned? Groceries bought? Check! Christmas cookies baked? Do I have a little something for everyone descending upon our home for Christmas? Have we secured the ‘right’ gift for our loved ones? Are gifts fairly dispersed? Are they within our budget? The questions and details to consider seemed endless.
I just knew something had to give. I needed a reality check to help me refocus on the truest spirit of Christmas.
That is when I walked into our church for communal penance. I always feel better after confession and admittedly it had been a while. As I sat down and rattled off my challenges of keeping cool, calm and collected while being spiritually centered, the priest asked me a question that completely changed my perspective in a heartbeat.
“Meg, you just want peace, don’t you?”
I took a breath that was full of both relief and curiosity.
“Yes!” and I smiled.
“You know you can only have true, lasting peace, through a faithful relationship with Christ, right?”
All of my action items on my list fell away. My focus from that point onward included one question only. What can I do today to deepen my relationship with Christ?
It was a relief! Being more organized was not going to give me the peace I needed. Cooking more flavorful food would not do it. Saving $100’s by shopping at the right moment with the right coupon would not do it either. My clothes fitting better would not afford me the true lasting peace that only Christ can give!
From that point on, I began every day seeking the answer to this question:
“How can I strengthen my relationship with Christ, today, in my errands, at work, at home?”
My perspective sharpened and stress slowly dissipated. My Advent became one of the best I ever had all because of my frantic state during confession.
It is so easy to let an opportunity for spiritual peace slip away this time of the year. Know that true, lasting peace is a gift from God alone. This peace is available to us all, at anytime, if we seek a faithful relationship with Christ, each and every day!
How can you deepen your relationship with Christ? How can you step it up in the coming weeks to move closer to our Lord and Savior? Take a few minutes to brainstorm what you can do, even if only a few minutes everyday to develop a more faithful relationship with Christ. Open yourself up to the peace that does not come from this world, but is only God given and available to you!
Copyright 2015 Meg Bucaro.
Photo copyright 2015 Meg Bucaro. All rights reserved.