Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Meager Fruits of Fasting (Thus Far)

So, I tried to start this blog already and be all 'PC' about why we are still in the Nativity fast and everyone else is celebrating the birth of Christ, well, not everyone, there are some who celebrate christmas without Christ being the reason they do it. Anyway, we are still 13 days out until the 25th of december (by the church calendar, the one in place when Christ was alive, that did not get changed by Pope Gregory XIII, hence Gregorian/civil calendar) which ends up being January 7 by the Gregorian/civil calendar. Anyhoooooo, I am writing because I have been thinking a lot during this fasting period about my life, as it is and what it will be. Maybe because I am going to be 30 this next birthday, am I putting a little more thought into things...maybe just simply because of where I am spiritually in my journey. Perhaps just a combo of the two. I have been feeling like I am shown to myself, in pieces, as if broken, but more like those tangram pieces that they give you in math class and can make many different shapes by putting them together. I sort of feel like I am looking at myself in bits and pieces and trying to figure out the picture it should make. Feeling like I want to change the shape and picture of myself, but not truly knowing how to do it without slipping back into old habits and just letting the former shape fill the places out of familiarity. I am thinking that I need to start with one piece at a time, the foundation. Well, that seems like the easy one, God. Hmmm, easier said than I do everything God asks of me? In my own limited and simple capabilities, like a child still learning? Yes. In the way I know in my heart and mind to be the entirety of my ability? No. There is that fine line there, where one starts and the other stops, is a mystery, but perhaps one day I can fulfill the merging of the two, the bringing together of the physical self and motivation with the heart and mind. That maybe my capabilities can serve the heart and mind in God,...well there is a blasted novel idea! Is there a right way for us to come to God? Is there a right way for us to grow in God? This is what I figure...we are given tools, from God, to come to Him, to lay down ourselves and take up our crosses to follow Him. If God was truly standing before me, in the figure of Christ the Man, what would I do? Well, honestly I don't know, but I would hope that I would fall down and ask forgiveness. Why is it that it is usually during the Great Lent that I find myself better prostrate before God, in heart, mind and body? Perhaps it is God's infinite mercy that we are given things in stages, the feasts throughout the year that bring us the eventuality of His crucifixion after we pass through Great Lent. I know I should rejoice that it does not seem so difficult during the fast of the Nativity, but I know in my heart that it is perhaps a new realization, like levels on my spiritual journey. The real struggle seems to lie in finding and holding onto Christ and God through the holiday season, where Santa and snowmen have become the icons of our country and representatives of Christmas. In a place where it is taboo to even say Merry Christmas anymore for possibly offending someone who does not celebrate it, for Christ's birth or not. Pete sakes! Not to mention, the big fat guy in a suit is the commercialized version of St Nicholas, a REAL man and Bishop of the very early Church and the reason for our stockings being filled secretly in the night (cuz he really did that). We have a way of becoming morphed into the new, societal ways in life through temptation and acting as if it was always that way. Where do I go with that? How do I continue through every year? How do I teach my child Truth, the unwavering Truth of God? I will live it, as we live through each feast of the liturgical year as it was when it happened, to the best of my ability. On Nativity, on Christmas, I will go to church and fellowship and eat with like-minded individuals who are truly rejoicing in the birth of our Saviour as we do every year. I would like to celebrate it with friends and family if it were possible and I will leave that to God's will. I will be saying, joyfully, "Christ is Born!" To which I will get a reply, perhaps with more joy and reverence than my own declaration, "Glorify Him!" So, how do I put my pieces together as they are laid before me? How do I find out the shape of myself without reverting back to MY old habits? Start with God and trust that He will show me the way to Him through the everyday of my life. It may sound simple, but it is an uphill battle. I will hold fast to the teachings and traditions of the Church given to us, to the family and friends (who are really family) who God has given us in His mercy to help us along in our struggles to aid us in our journey, to learn things in a new light, to find myself looking at a picture of myself that is created while I am looking to God for answers because all things are possible through God in His mercy and Love. I will consider this, the turning of a new leaf, the start of my next journey that has been waiting to begin for quite sometime but my spiritual legs needed to be stronger to last the length. These concepts are not particularly new, but I am now feeling strong enough to take on the challenge without taking two steps back each time I try. So the end of this blog is really the beginning of the next step in my life. Here's to remembering and keeping the old along with embracing the new. With all my Love and Faith in Christ our God, until next time.