I like to drive with music on. A CD or a radio station – doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. But when I really want to benefit from the power and inspiration of music, I don’t do anything at all. I just sit, listen, and let the music in.
Good music can heal hurts, flow over us like refreshing water, and take us to favorite memories – or sad ones that are precious all the same. But so often, we listen only in passing, making music part of our daily background. That’s fine, I suppose, at times.
But to benefit from all music has to offer, I’ll pause. Pick a favorite song. And play in all-else stillness.
Let your song in today, a gift for your heart and soul.
I feel a particular affinity for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, especially the claymation television special. It aired for the first time 50 years ago and has been a favorite for millions since. I even have a Christmas tree ornament depicting Rudolph, red nose all lit up!
Rudolph has meant different things to me at different points in my life. As a child, it was the singing I recall most. As a young adult, I couldn’t wait until the strains of “There’s Always Tomorrow” began – and I’d sing along loudly! Now, since my lupus diagnosis and the health challenges that have followed, I’ve a deeper view of Rudolph. That is, the little reindeer with his physical anomaly, which made him different from all the other reindeer, struggling to find his place in the world – even running from the world at times – and finally discovering to everyone’s amazement that his “place” is most important at a time of great crisis. Almost as if at Rudolph’s weakest, his most different, he was at his strongest.
If you’re living with serious health problems, this is something inspiring to think of. So often, we view our physical impediments as weaknesses. But if we dig deep, we just might find that they are completely the opposite – they are tremendous strengths! And we can use them to help ourselves and others!
Good old/young Rudolph! Even as I put away the ornaments this year, you’ll hear me singing “There’s Always Tomorrow!”
Anytime we confide in someone, however close we are to them, we need to have lots of trust. Trust that they will listen truly and faithfully. Trust that they will provide us with authentic reflections and guidance. Trust that they will not spread to others what we want to have held close. Sometimes, we can experience the kind of strong, human trust that lifts us up and inspires us. But sometimes, too, we might feel as if the person whom we trust has betrayed us, let us down.
Yes, our brothers and sisters might be very fallible when it comes to trust. But not the Lord!
When we lift up our desires, fears, our innermost thoughts, we trust – we must trust – that He will listen, respond, and hold us close.
This week, focus on that sense of trust that you have in God. Focus on how, even if people do, the Lord will never leave you, foresake you, or turn away from you. He is the One we can always confide in, always cry to, always trust. And bring that sense of supreme trust into your prayer life and the days and nights that unfold this Advent. Ask that you will act and think from a place of even greater trust that God is leading you. Ask that, no matter your fears or hesitations, that you will be able to fix your eyes on the path on which God is leading you – ultimately trusting Him like no other.
Life during this holiday season is packed with activity, and if you’re living with a chronic health condition and/or severe pain, it’s more than doubly difficult to keep centered and optimistic.
All the more reason to protect your need for at least one moment during the day when you’re quiet, breathing deeply, and allowing peace to flood your mind and soul. Sometimes, we might feel selfish to do this; there are so many demands on our talents and time. Or, we might have so many health challenges that we feel unworthy of peace, or that it is something that’s “out there,” out of reach because pain and sickness block it from us.
But if we consciously allow peace in, if we swing open the door to our hearts and step aside, out of the way, the Holy Spirit will bring us peace. Abundant, sure, and loving.
Just a moment of peace? If we let the Spirit in, and if we let the Spirit move us, we’ll have more than a moment – we’ll have a lifetime!