Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Spiritual Sunday #5" -- Advent Begins

So this is fitting, I guess. It is the beginning of Advent, and the end of NaBloPoMo. Although only one of those things obviously fits my theme of the day, actually they both do. Because I started this blog, and have done NaBloP, as a friend calls it, for two years now, as part of a self-and-God devised plan of self-discipline and growth.

When I turned 50 (in early 2001) I took a look at my life, and all the things I was going to do "someday", and decided that I had better get started. Some of them were purely physical, like a regular exercise routine. Some of them were purely spiritual, like daily Scripture and prayer, and a several-times-a-week spiritual journal. Some of them were in between.

I don't mean to imply that at 50 I suddenly became fully disciplined. I don't think I'm better than average even yet. But each year or so I've been able to add -- and stick to -- something. Currently my "weekly disciplines chart" has lines for ten different things I need to do, with check boxes for each day of the week, and projected goals. (I only "have" to walk four days a week, though sometimes I do five. And this week I didn't walk at all, to rest an injured knee.) And one of those things is blogging.

According to the chart I'm supposed to blog (or write an extended letter or email to somebody) at least twice a week. I haven't been entirely successful. But I stuck with NaBloP, and came up with daily themes, and that gives me hope for the next year. And I'd say I'm about 93% successful in my spiritual disciplines, which have observably made me a better and more godly person. (My kids will tell you they were very pleasantly surprised over Thanksgiving, when none of the stresses and disasters led to a melt-down on my part. Even I was surprised.)

So NaBloP is over and Advent begins, a season when Christians traditionally search and prepare their hearts to celebrate again the Lord's coming. Since I won't be posting here tomorrow (unless it's a snow day, which may happen,) I'll leave you with a hymn which both lifts my spirits and encourages me to do just that.

People Look East
words by Eleanor Farjeon

1. People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

2. Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

3. Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

4. Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

5. Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.

(If the tune is unfamiliar, the MIDI is here.)


Jen said...

I like the idea of your chart. I do things like that too. I love check boxes.

Tracy said...

I like the idea of a chart - checking things off is usually very therapeutic. Usually I make a list and check things off, but that's just for this and that. I never thought of making a chart for my "big" goals.