How are your Advent Adventures going? The ‘run’ up to Christmas all too easily flashes by; quick as you like we’re into 2017, Christmas 2016 a bleary blur. Yet Advent is supposed to be a period of pregnant pause, time to slow down, walk and look out for Christ’s coming. As the ‘Are Ye Wise!?’ Wise Men eventually find out, today Christ visits wherever and whenever people are caring, sharing and going out of their way to help others.
Can I offer a ‘speed bump’ for your journey to and through Christmas? A simple prayer to repeat in daily life, “God of Surprise, open my Eyes!”
At my daughter’s graduation last week, Evelyn Glennie received an honourary degree at Robert Gordon’s University. She is a remarkable woman, who has overcome profound deafness to become the world renound musician she is. She spoke of the importance of not only listening, but also hearing, which requires deeper concentration and intention to really notice what’s going on in and around us. This honest, open prayer helps us to do that.
Here’s how Collette used the constant prayer, “God of Surprise open my eyes.”
“OK so there I was sitting in the car at traffic lights waiting………….
It had been a long day, it was dark and cold outside, and I was keen to get home for my dinner.
‘God of surprise, open my eyes!’ I said quietly, while peering out the car windows. The scene was dismal. Even some small trees nearby had a cruel Halloween look to them. I looked a bit harder……….it wasn’t working! Every time I say ‘God of surprise, open my eyes.’ I always see something of beauty that God wants to share with me.
I burst out laughing and said, ‘There’s nothing there God!’
Just at that moment a light caught my eye. Standing on the pavement a woman was drawing on a cigarette. It briefly lit up with an orange glow and I noticed her standing there for the first time. As she walked across the road and passed in front of my car, I started praying for her. Praying that God would bless her in all her happiness and help her in all her difficulties. It made me feel so good inside. This is what God had wanted me to see.
The lady walked on into the pub. The traffic lights turned to green and I went on my way. So there is my wee story Neil. Just as you said in church today, “God of surprise, open my eyes. And let our eyes be open to others.”
So there you have it, an early Christmas Gift to daily life, a simple, life-enhancing, world blessing prayer, “God of surprise open my eyes!”