Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, the feast day which celebrates the appearance of the angel Gabriel, who tells Mary of her mission. That means only 9 months until Christmas. If I wrote a different kind of blog, I'd fill the rest of this post with witty ways to make your shopping easier. I personally think that we should take the money that we spend on buying gifts for adults and give it to social service agencies with a track record of doing good things in the developing world. I think that first world adults have way too much stuff, so why give gifts--I'm Scroogy that way.
I think we should celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation by thinking about our own lives. What does God call us to do?
We might think about how we can listen for God's call. Most of us live noisy lives: we're always on our cell phones, we've often got several televisions blaring in the house at once, we're surrounded by traffic (and their loud stereos), we've got people who want to talk, talk, talk. Maybe today would be a good day to take a vow of silence, inasmuch as we can, to listen for God.
Maybe we can't be silent, but there are other ways to tune in to God. Maybe we want to keep a dream journal to see if God tries to break through to us in that way. Maybe we want to keep a prayer journal, so that we have a record of our prayer life--and maybe we want to revisit that journal periodically to see how God answers our prayers.
In our society, it's interesting to me to wonder what God would have to do to get our attention. I once wrote these lines in a poem:
I don’t want God to have to fling
frogs at me to get my attention. I want
to be so in touch that I hear the still,
small voice crying in this wilderness of American life.
I don’t want God to set fire to the shrubbery to get my notice.
But as I think about Mary's story, I realize that God has always had trouble getting our attention. What is God trying to tell me these days?
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago