By: Vanesa Browne
Readings: Genesis 9:1-7; Hebrews 11:32-40; Psalm 124
During meditation, centering prayer, or any moment of silence, our minds inevitably wander. We may think about our looming to-do list, a comment from a loved one that just didn’t sit well, or what’s for dinner tonight. As these thoughts drift into our mind, in the practice of meditation, we gently guide our minds back to the present moment by focusing on our breath, the repetition of a short word, or an image.
In times of longing – times in which we yearn for a promise yet fulfilled – our minds also wander. They fill with thoughts of doubt, fear, and worry as we wait. For Noah and his family in today’s scripture, God ended their period of longing for dry land with a rainbow – a sign of His promise fulfilled and a sign of a new promise to never again repeat the floods. God gave Noah and his family a visual reminder of His promise to them. So as doubt, fear, and worry crept into their minds in the future, they could bring themselves back to the present moment through the image of a rainbow as a sign of God’s enduring faithfulness.
As we journey through Advent together, we are each in a time of longing. It may be a longing for an individual desire that’s deeply personal, or a time of communal longing in which we join with other Christians awaiting Christ. During this time, it is inevitable that doubt, fear, and worry will find their way into our minds. When they do, what will be your centering image, smell, or touch? What will serve as your reminder of God’s faithfulness in prior times of longing that you can come back during these moments? The reminder may be one that God placed on your heart – like the rainbow for Noah and his family – or it may be one you choose yourself.
As you continue on this Advent journey and you find yourself in doubt, fear, or worry, gently guide yourself back to the present moment with whatever centers you and remind yourself that God is good and faithful to you, to us, always.