To Everything there is a season, and though the seasons repeat, there is an opening and a closing to each cycle. There is a rhythm, a breathing in and a breathing out. I am grateful for the rhythm and the repetition. Each time through, I learn something new, I grow in a new way.
The Church Calendar begins with Advent--the expectant waiting for the Promised One. It is a time for opening arms wide so that we can hold the Christ Child close when He arrives. The Church Calendar ends in November with the emphasis on remembering those who have come before and gone on ahead. This is the time to think about what we need to let go. The year has been full and now we remember that the striving and the establishing were not the goals--no, they were never the goals--but merely the work of a season. Now we bow to the Mystery, to the One who has a plan we can't yet see clearly, to the One we trust anyway. It is a time for opening hands and arms wide so that we can hold God's Hands as He extends them to us.
Opening arms wide. When we do that we expose our hearts and leave them vulnerable. So, here in this last month of Ordinary Time, at the end of the Church Year, we practice vulnerability and letting go. Then we enter Advent, the beginning of the Church Year and practice waiting with hands and arms open, we ready and expose our tender hearts to receive Him.
Here is a poem for this season:
The Armful by Robert Frost
For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once.
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best.
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.
We can't carry it "all." That's not what we were made for. We were not built as beasts of burden but as light and graceful dancers. We can't even hold all the blessings that God pours out upon us. Perhaps it's time to let the Lord carry the hard things, drop some of the material things, thank Him for the good things and then ask Him what things can be released to make room for Him. He is coming. Soon.