Posted by: Titus Presler | December 5, 2011

A Personal Mission: Meditation for Advent II Monday

It was a snowy day in Vermont, and we were looking for Grade B maple syrup, which is made from sap that comes up at the end of the sap season.  It’s darker and, some say, more nutritious than Grade A.  A place on the main road referred us to another family up in the hills.

Driving in snowy Vermont is our idea of a good time, so up we went from a fine dirt road to a rough dirt road and then up a deep-snow track where we were glad we had four-wheel drive.  Sheila’s Gift Shoppe was simply the front part of the home she and her husband had built on a side of the mountain.

Sheila greeted us at the door all smiles and showed us around.  She offered us a genuine welcome, and not just as customers.  She showed us maple syrups and maple candies, quilted items and wooden toys.  We were becoming friends.  She invited us into her kitchen where a simple machine spun syrup into maple cream.

Among the pictures and clippings on Sheila’s refrigerator was this: “My mission is to bring the love of Christ to others through encouragement, hospitality and love.”  On retreat at the nearby Richford Baptist Church, each person had been encouraged to think and pray toward a personal mission statement, and this was hers.

“Hmm,” I thought. “A personal mission statement.  That’s a good idea for all of us.  What’s God up to in my life this year?  What’s God sending me to do now?”

Advent, not January 1, marks our new year as Christians.  We might think about crafting a personal mission statement in Advent: one simple sentence from our discerning God’s invitation in our lives.  If we’re into new year’s resolutions, they can flow from that statement.

Sheila didn’t have any Grade B maple syrup, and she referred us on to someone else.  We went away with stacks of maple cream, and the blessing of Sheila’s mission.

This meditation is excerpted from Titus Presler’s “Alert for Signs: Seeing and Praying through Advent” (Forward Movement Publications). 

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