Wednesday, Second Week of Advent

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing spirit.
—Psalm 51:10-12

The Gift…

In order to freely give of yourself, you must be open. Being open involves getting out of your own way, being concerned about the kind of person you are, and making room for others. Not one of these tasks is a simple one, nor does any part of it stand alone. Being truly open is a challenge, that needs a lifetime of work.

These past 2 years have been of extreme challenge. There have been many changes in my life; most of them welcome but some harder to manage than others. The thing that I have truly come to feel as well as understand is that God is not done with me yet. I have told myself many times how blessed I am. I love my work, the students I work with, my family and friends. I am so busy with the day to day aspects of living my life that I sometimes forget that I am a work in progress too. So busy with the act of living that I have to be reminded to freely live; to greet each day for the day, with respect for each act, move with deliberate thought, and to remind myself of why I am able to give. The challenge is to keep the giving in our lives a “free gift”.

If we are truly open, then we can give without expectation or anticipation of what we may get back. If we can stand by the sidelines long enough to ensure that our actions are without malice or underlying purpose, then others can see our sincerity. If we can get out of our own way long enough to accept that we are only a small piece of the whole, then we understand that there must always be room for others.  I have been blesses today with the chance to freely give, and I accept my lifetime of work. Each day is a reminder that God is not done with me yet.

—Phyllis Breland,
Director of Opportunity Programs