First of all, thank you for an amazing 2018!! Look at what you have inspired me to do: click here. Your replies to these Saturday emails always give me renewed energy and encouragement.

Now, here is today’s reflection:

It was past midnight on Christmas Eve. I looked at my sons from behind the microphone in the ‘musicians’ area. They sat in the same pew where we always sat as a family, all dressed up and standing next to each other like they did for the past 12 Christmases. “It doesn’t matter how tall they are, they are still my three boys,” I thought, holding back tears.

So much changed over the years… or even just in the past year…

It always does… We can never predict or know what the changes will look like when we are on the other side of them. We hope, we dream, we plan… we can envision, but we have no way of controlling it. The closest we get to ‘shaping our future’ is to imagine how we want to feel once we are on the other side of change and surrender to Grace and Love to get us there… and let go of the rigid script we (or someone else) have written for ourselves.

(For example, at one time I was sure that when Dante would be 18 and home from college, we would be the same family of five standing together in that church. But I had no control over it. On the other hand, when I daydreamed about the future, I knew I wanted to feel at peace, deeply grateful for my family. Feeling peaceful and grateful is up to me, regardless life’s circumstances.)

During this year’s Christmas Eve homily, I snuggled next to Blais (the youngest of the three). Our pastor told the story of a little boy in India, who, in the Christmas pageant, got to play the Innkeeper. When Joseph and Mary knocked on the inn’s door, he said, “No, I have no room for you!” and closed the door. They knocked the second time, and the boy repeated the same line: “No, I have no room for you!” The third time Joseph and Mary knocked, the boy forgot his line. He stared at them for a long, silent moment.

Someone backstage whispered: “Tell them ‘No!’ again.” But since that wasn’t the right line in his mind, the boy took a breath and said, “Well, just come in, we’ll make room for you!”

The crowd in the church laughed. I imagined this was just a little boy, who forgot the script and looked into his own heart for the answer. “He just thought, ‘What would be the right thing to do?’” the priest said.

I imagined the little boy changing the story… Of course, he couldn’t change the ‘hi-story,’ but how awesome is it to get off script and look into our hearts for the answers?

As you do your year-end review and imagine the one ahead, think about what scripts you might be holding onto too tightly while not allowing God and Grace to move you onto new paths?

 

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