• Office of Christian Formation

Bloom in the Desert

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. (2 Peter 3:8)

Have you ever experienced a moment when time didn’t seem to make sense? Where you are so completely present that you lose track of time for a bit? Over Thanksgiving weekend, some members of my extended family gathered online and played some simple games together. Physically, we were scattered all over the globe but for that time we were actually together – really together – enjoying each other’s company. One of us looked and saw the time, and realized it was past everyone’s bedtime. As we were saying our goodnights, my mom said “wow, this was such a wonderful time – for the last hour I actually forgot we were in a pandemic!” We all chuckled with understanding. The time we were together stretched past our common understanding of space and time, and we all were able to experience the warmth and joy of being surrounded by our loved ones.

A similar thing happens each summer at Shrine Mont Camps. One of the common statements heard throughout staff training week is to “be open to outcomes.” You may think that you know how a camper’s experience, or your experience, or even just a day will turn out – but be open. Things change and grow each minute. At camp, a day feels like a week, but the weeks pass in a blink of an eye and feel just like one day. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true. Relationships created in one week living in a cabin in the woods are sometimes deeper than the ones we experience after months “back home.”

Reflect on your own relationships, your own life experiences. Have you had a moment like this, where time seemed larger than what appeared on the calendar or clock? Maybe a moment with a new love, or a child, or a deep friend. Maybe a time you felt peace and solace simply in your own presence, or in the created world? Give yourself a moment to remember that time, and what it felt like.

With God, there is abundant bloom in the deserts of our lives - a bloom that can break through even our understanding of time and space. With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. May our hearts and minds be open to living in this expansive space with our God who loves us deeply.

Holy Lord, sometimes I feel trapped in a minute to minute life. Sometimes I look around and all I can see feels like desert – like dry, vast, emptiness. But I trust that you walk with me, and that you can bring a bloom even to those desert times. Help me to trust in you enough to sit in your timelessness, and to see the bloom you have created even in this space. AMEN.

-Paris Ball

Artist's Reflection

Mark 13:32-33 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.

How do you wait on Kingdom that is to come but is already in our midst? How do you mindfully move through Advent year after year? Maybe we just wait and look around. If Kingdom is in our midst, then where can we feel and behold it? If the kingdom is still to come, then what work is there still to do?

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