By: Mary Benz
Every year, after Thanksgiving and Christmas are over, and the excitement and magic of the holidays has passed, the following months (that are without any breaks or holidays) can seem never-ending and overwhelmingly boring. As I trudge through the cold, gray Michigan days, I have the tendency to focus on the next big thing that’s happening, with the mentality that once I get to that next break or vacation, then I will be happy and peaceful again. Many of my friends and I often say, “I just need break to come!” or “It can’t come soon enough!” Sometimes I am so focused on what is coming next in life that I forget to be present where I actually am.
Right now, as I think about the next couple of months, part of me wants to fall into discouragement, because my next break from school isn’t until March, and I have so much work to do before I get to that point. I can easily lose sight of the beauty in the present moment and all of the people that God wants me to love where I am right now!
The Lord doesn’t call me or any of us to live like this! As Christians, we are filled with the Holy Spirit by the nature of our Baptism, and in St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians he tells us, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) With the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we can live every day full of joy and peace-both the exciting and the mundane, the happy and the difficult. The Holy Spirit can help us to see that every single day is full of many small miracles and exciting ways to spread the love and joy of the Gospel. I think that we, as Be Love Revolutionaries, are especially called to spread the love and joy of Jesus Christ-even in the difficult or boring times of life. Small, intentional acts of kindness can go a long way to bring Christ’s love to the world.
A priest once gave me the advice to try to walk around my college campus without looking at my phone or looking down, but to try and look up, look at people, and smile as they walk by. When I do this intentionally, my day is always brightened by the smiles of others, and I am often able to pray a little. This little habit has helped me to relax, let go of those things that are worrying me and occupying my mind, to be more present to those around me, and to pray in between classes during a busy day.
How many miracles do we miss by being too caught up what is coming next, instead of living in the here and now? It could be the miracle of a beautiful sunrise, a good laugh with a friend, or an opportunity to spread the love of Christ with someone who needs to be loved. This year, let’s strive to be more present in the moments that God has given us, and remain ever-watchful for the miracles that God gives us each and every day. With this mentality, the next months don’t seem so daunting or exhausting, but beautiful and chock-full of exciting opportunities to be a revolutionary of love! Let’s start right now!
I am praying for each of you every day!