The Best-Laid Plans
by Amanda Petersen
It is so easy to forget how unpredictable life can be. It is also hard to decide when the unpredictable is the new normal. I say this as I sit recovering from pink eye and in the midst of a cold. My well-laid plans for the weekend were all set aside due to some microscopic entity having a great time in my body.
As some of you know my daughter and granddaughter have moved in with me for a while and ever since my granddaughter started daycare, we have been hit by one illness or another causing me to redirect my plans repeatedly. Now my head knows this is just a season, yet my panicky ego says the sky is falling and life will always be topsy-turvy. From a contemplative view, they are both right and the month of December is the perfect season to sit in both.
Advent is the season of sitting in the reality that life is a series of predictable seasons that come and go, that life can change drastically, and what was seen as a season is now a new reality. As contemplatives, the invitation is to practice connecting with the Eternal/God/Universe in the midst of the seasons; looking at life as if one were sitting on a hillside, observing it from a different vantage point; remembering that life is bigger and about Love, and then going back down the hill and living the seasons from that perspective.
Now this sounds lovely when life is going well. When the illness, the accident, the change, the growth happens, it can be challenging to stop and go up that hill. The energy of the new season seems to want all one’s attention and the loss of control can be maddening. This is why showing up to seasons like Advent and others in a rhythmic way each year is important. It’s a way of practicing for the next personal season change. The seasons of the year are chances to go up the hill, sit with the Divine, and remember Life is Love and Big. That showing up to this season is entering into a stream of history of many who have shown up to it before and the many who will show up after.
May you find ways to climb that hill and get some perspective on your life and Life in general this December season. If you would like help, Pathways of Grace has many wonderful people who will lovingly listen to the frustrations and joy of your season and climb the hill with you. Or, we have many opportunities for you to set aside time to quietly explore the seasons of your life.
In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with you as your navigate your own seasons.