What is your obstacle?–Ordinary Glimpse for the Second Sunday of Advent

adventsecondThis week’s readings lead my musings toward the question: “What is my obstacle?”  Take a look at the Gospel reading for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.

+ A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”–Luke 3:1-6

The simplicity of this season, okay this is probably not the simplest of season’s, with all of the Christmas shopping, parties, letter writing and Christmas cards–this is probably not a quiet time.  So it is during this time that it makes it harder to hear that voice crying out in the desert. That voice that is showing us the way to “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  With all of the clouds of confusion and noise, how can anyone maintain a simple path that is prepared to receive our Lord.  So it led me to think of what are the obstacles that are in the way that allow me to smooth my rough ways?

This week we continue to watch our son grow and change, sometimes it seems right before our very eyes.  That voice that is crying out is the voice of our little one saying that he is hungry, needs changing or is bored and wants to be picked up.  It is His voice that is smoothing out the rough edges of our own selfishness and desires to do what we would previously do during the weekend, or even sleep in the evening hours.  When all of the crying in the middle of the night or early morning becomes such a loud voice that you cannot ignore or it wakes you from your sound slumber, it is same voice inviting you to recall your commitment to “come follow me.”  This voice helps prepare the way for the Lord, because it is in these moments that I realize the dependence on God the most, especially when you feel most helpless.

This sounds all nice and sweet for a reflection, however, the obstacle is that in the moment of hearing the voice and the smoothing out of rough ways, is the moment of tension. You see the ways are made smooth by friction, something pressing against the old self.  So the obstacle really becomes my old self, it is the part of me that still hangs onto the my selfish ways, i.e., the desire for sleep, reading, etc.  The friction and smoothing process is necessary for all stones to become polished and become a bright shining place for all to see their own reflection.  So through the voice of my little one, the reflection that is being polished is none other than that of the One who’s way we are both preparing to receive and see in each other.  So this week, notice your obstacle–and take a look at whose image is beginning to be seen in the reflection from the edges being made smooth.

+In what ways are we being invited to embrace a particular change in our life?

+What is the obstacle that is leaving us closed to hearing the voice of God each day?

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