Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (KJV)
Ephesians 4:23 – And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (KJV)
Having been raised in the north-eastern part of our province of beautiful British Columbia — where winter is something one doesn't just hear about, but experiences — I see how spoiled living on the west coast can be.
Snow is a short-lived surprise. Hoarfrost doesn't find its way down here. There is no going out in 40-plus below zero weather where the moisture freezes on one's face, where matches thaw the car's frozen keyholes, untended-to radiators freeze and burst, and the only things heavier than oil are the tires that suddenly turn square. Nope, none of that for us, and also, none of the telltale signals to get our cars in for a tune-up. Oh sure, the ads suggest we should, but with beautiful balmy weather, I, at least, keep reminding myself that it's something which must be done, but I often delay doing it.
Well, it's time for a tune-up now — and so too, as we come closer to Christmas, it is time for a tune-up in my spiritual life. My daily prayers and weekly prayer group may indeed have served as the ads that I needed to get me into tune-up mode — to keep me in tune with the reason for the season, as the saying goes, and not to be caught up by the trappings of all that calls out to be bought as gifts and wrappings.
I have taken myself in for that tune-up, in a refresher workshop in centring or "contemplative prayer", to reinforce the ability to keep that calm within, especially in what can be a harried time of the year — to just be present with him and to know that whenever we need him, need to thank him, we need only listen, to know he is there.
Just as an oil change, topping up of levels, and antifreeze prepare our vehicles for the winter season ahead, so too is renewing our prayer-ability a lovely way to lead us into and through the Christmas season where we can truly be spiritually fed.
Prayer: O Holy Father, guide us through the days leading up to the celebration of your birth. If we are weary, worried and exhausted, let us look up to you for renewal, and not down in despair. If we should feel lost, lonely or scared, let us seek out the solace of someone in your service. May we not become bogged down by the commercialism, but rather, may we experience a personal tune-up as we remember that You are the real reason for the season. In your name we pray. Amen.