Old habits and Advent
Several elderly nuns were in their second floor convent one night when a fire broke out.
They took their old habits, tied them together and lowered themselves safely on the ground. A reporter asked them, “Weren’t you afraid that the habits could have ripped since they are old?” One nun replied, “Nah, don’t you know old habits are hard to break!”
The best thing about old habits is that some of them are good habits. It is great to form good habits that will keep on repeating: going to church Sunday morning, learning to bite your tongue and come up with a kind word is another, or thinking of something good to say to someone before you suggest change or criticize something about them.
Then there are nasty habits that seem impossible to break. Let’s take a tough one like criticizing your spouse or a family member or fellow worker you don’t get along with. You notice that when company is around we usually are a little more courteous to family members. We avoid petty discussions and remarks.
Well, here’s the thing. God is always around. “Invited or not, God is always present,” Carl Jung said. Now suppose you set an extra plate at your dinner table and light a candle. Tell everyone that God is present. He is! Now how would that affect our behaviour?
Making a positive change in the world this Advent is so very simple. It can be a daily effort – like saying something positive to someone. I missed a chance the other day as I was jogging. I passed a young lady picking up her charge from a day care. I said, “Hi” as I was passing in the winter snow.
She was a little more thoughtful and said, “You are a trouper.” I muttered something like, “I try.” Then afterwards I realized I should have said, “No, you are the trouper.” I have grand children and I know how hard their mothers work. They do not easily have time for a leisurely run.
Take the time this Advent to tell God how great the sunrise is. It is much easier to see one this time of year, and you can still sleep in. Another example of the advantages of being retired.
All of us can make a great effort to KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS this Advent. I don’t mean just in wishing a Merry CHRISTmas, though that is a great start.
I came across the ultimate KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS message this past week:
WANT TO KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS?
FEED THE HUNGRY, CLOTH THE NAKED, FORGIVE THE GULITY
WELCOME THE STRANGER AND THE UNWANTED CHILD,
CARE FOR THE ILL, LOVE YOUR ENEMY.
Now that is something we can all work on this Advent.