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Be Our Alarm Clock
Be Our Gloom-Slayer
It’s not too late to wake up.
Advent is almost done yet still there is time.
We are fast sleepers but still we might hear His call.
Will we wake up spiritually? We are so active and alert materially. So alert, for buying shiny things, for being seen at Christmas parties, for gathering with friends for a drink, for enjoying the fiestas of the World Cup (Hooray Messi!)!
Spiritually asleep but materially awake. Thomas Merton hits at this strange duality in his diminutive volume Zen and the Birds of Appetite:
We in the west, living in a tradition of stubborn ego-centred practicality and geared entirely for the use and manipulation of everything, always pass from one thing to another, from cause to effect, from the first to the next and to the last and then back to the first. Everything always points to something else, and hence we never stop anywhere because we cannot: as soon as we pause, the escalator reaches the end of the ride and we have to get off and find another one.
We are always on the run and as a result never take time to pause, reflect, meditate, or pray. Perhaps we even shy away from casting our inward glance—anxious at what we might find in the nether regions of our ancient selves.
BUT (the Apostle Paul’s favourite word)! BUT GOD is for us and his special child has come as our Gloom-Slayer even as the Prophet Isaiah foresaw centuries ago, “There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…the people walking in darkness have seem a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned…” (Isa 9:1-2).
Let us pray these words in these waning days of Advent:
Lord, be our alarm clock. Keep us from sleeping at the switch. Be our Gloom-Slayer! Arouse us from our deep sleep so that we might yet wake up to your presence of comfort, consolation and cheer.
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