Stop and smell the roses! Has any one ever said that to you? Sometimes we hear different versions of this saying, but they all have the same meaning: take the time to ponder the events in your life.
During a recent New Year’s Day homily, the celebrant spoke of Mary and how “she treasured these things, giving careful thought to them, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). After coming out of the Christmas season, I took some time and reflected on what the celebrant was trying to say. Today, we often don’t take the time to ponder things in this way. We move from one thing to another, almost without taking a breath! I know that this is true for many, as in my fundraising days I often experienced business reps asking me if I stopped and took the time to savor the success of the event I was spearheading! My answer was usually a regretful “not really, I’m just thinking of what can be improved for the next one”!
With all that had happened in Mary’s young life, I think it was this moment of pondering and treasuring that kept her so connected to God. She cherished each time God entered her life and reflected to see the beauty of it all. Not all of these moments were joyful ones; Mary lived through the loss in the temple and the pain of the Crucifixion. And yet still, she took it all in and pondered God’s plan for her.
And what about us?
As the New Year gets underway and we have all boarded “Flight 2023”, perhaps we need to spend some of our own time treasuring, pondering, and holding close to our hearts all the moments and events that happen in our lives. For me, it takes an effort to remember to slow down and reflect on what has happened throughout the day, thanking God for all of the good things and asking for strength to deal with the challenges.
What about yourself? Do you take the time to reflect on your day, and thank God for even the smallest gift you may have received? Are you willing to acknowledge the shortcomings of the day, knowing that our all-loving God stands with arms wide open, ready to embrace all that you are?
A friend gifted me with a kindness journal for Christmas, and my intention is to use it to take the time to ponder the day and treasure all that helped me be my best self. What might you do to help yourself ‘stop and smell the roses’, treasure, ponder, and keep things close to your heart?
The beginning of the New Year is a great time to start! Wishing you ample time to ponder as ‘Flight 2023’ takes to the skies. Happy beginning of Ordinary Time.
Till next week,