Thursday, Second Week of Advent

You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
--Psalm 16

Opening the Space to Connect

The other night, in my weekly Tai Chi class, the instructor stopped teaching us the form (we're clunky and awkward but she's oh so patient), and had us try a little exercise. We lined up in pairs, one partner behind the other. The back partner placed their hands on the front partner's back and closed their eyes. The sighted front partner moved forward, through easy, familiar steps, and the back partner had to follow by feel, not by sight. As our partners moved forward, we tried to follow their gait, stride, rhythm, and energy. And you know what? It was HARD. Then it got a little harder as the instructor shuffled the pairs so that we were matched with someone even LESS like ourselves...taller, slower, faster, older, stiffer. My tendency was to run up the heels of whoever I was paired with as I tried, reflexively, to speed things up and push them forward. And isn't that how we often are with others, and even with God? We rush right by because we have so much TO DO. We need to get from Point A to Point B and we don't need any detours. Sights set straight ahead, we hurry through our days, ticking off items on endless lists, all too often losing touch with our partners here on earth, and with the one true partner, our Lord.

In this Advent season, I'm working to move slowly and to maintain a light but steady touch on the backs of friends and strangers, and especially on the back of God.

--Mary Collis, Science Stockroom and Facility Coordinator