We have entered the second week of Advent.  A dear friend gave me a series of short, daily reflections for the season written by Ronald Rolheiser, OMI.  I found the reflection for yesterday to be especially inspirational, and I wanted to share it with you: 

“All living things possess a pressure to grow.  I recall a friend’s effort to kill a bamboo plant in his driveway.  He cut it down, chopped deep into the earth to destroy the roots, and poured poison on its remains.  Finally, he dumped several feet of gravel on it and paved it over with cement.  Years later, the cement heaved as the plant pushed upward.”

This creates such a vivid picture for me.  Each of us has a longing deep inside, and often, our longing is related to our work.  Yet, we chop it down, cover it up, and try to forget that longing ever existed for a variety of reasons, all of which seem logical and reasonable.  But over time that longing pushes up and pushes past the barriers we put in its path.  As much as we try to ignore it or forget it, that longing still lies within our hearts.

As you prepare for Christmas, spend a few minutes reflecting on the longing within you.  What stories have you told yourself about why you should not pursue that longing?  How have you covered it with cement?  What acknowledgement can you give to your longing today, knowing that it will continue to push upward?