Today I was remembering a story that Fr. Timothy Gallagher tells. He speaks about a man who was having a difficult time deciding to exercise. He finally makes the decision. The first day he drives to the exercise place, but doesn’t go in. The second day, the same. He’s having trouble deciding to continue with his decision. As he tells this story, many people begin to laugh–probably because we all have been there. However, Fr. Gallagher surprises us by his view of this situation. He says, “This is holy ground. Here is a man who is trying to do the right thing. This is holy ground.”
A perspective that is well worth thinking about.
“In the lives of those who believe and pray, there are bleak winters of the spirit. We seem to go along well for a while in prayer and relationships and life generally, but from time to time we disintegrate. It is very painful. You may suspect that this will prove to be a creative disintegration, that God is re-creating you, putting you together in the likeness of his Son at a new and deeper level. Certainly this does happen: growth is not easy; there is a probably distressing period for the caterpillar on the way to butterflyhood. We are all participants in this experience from time to time, and a chrysalis needs sympathetic understanding, so we should be gentle and patient with ourselves, as with others. Nevertheless, they are hard to live through, these winters of the spirit. When you know yourself to be sterile, helpless, unable to deal creatively with your situation or change your own heart, you know your need for a Savior, and you know what Advent is. God brings us to these winters, these dreary times of deadness and emptiness of spirit, as truly as he brings winter after autumn, as a necessary step towards next spring. But while we are in them they feel like a real absence of God, or our absence from him. . . . .In the winters of your prayer, when there seems to be nothing but darkness and a situation of frozenness, hold on, wait for God. He will come.” (Maria Boulding)
I hope this provides encouragement for you. Know that I’m praying for you . . . all of you who “know what Advent is.”