Today is Gaudete Sunday. We've lit the pink candle and we get into a rejoicing mood. We rejoice!!!
Christmas is a little over a week away. Everywhere we go the crowds are ridiculous. That uncle we deleted from our gift list has decided that he will come to the family Christmas gathering after all so we should really get him a gift did I mention he has suddenly gone gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. You spend an hour driving around a parking lot, 25 minutes navigating the crowds in store, 45 in a line at the check out and all you wanted was 3 items yet still forgot one of them.
Yesterday I found myself in my car praying about my attitude. I left home an hour later than I wanted to after getting a phone call about a Christmas get together that I was asked to plan that I didn't really want to plan but felt pressured to. I was now driving around and around a car park looking for a space to park, cars behind me we honking because we hadn't moved in a few minutes, I was thinking of everything I still had to get done that day plus I needed to make some headway with that party.
I felt myself getting frustrated, annoyed, overwhelmed and mean. I sat in a car that was neither moving nor parked, waiting for the ones in front to figure out what they we doing and my mind, heart and attitude just tanked. I was having unpleasant thoughts, a pity party and arguing with myself (I swear I am not crazy), definitely nowhere near rejoicing or finding joy in this beautiful season that we are in.
Thankfully God's graces abound. Just before I made another loop of the parking lot I caught myself. This is not the person I want to be, this is not how I want to find myself in these days leading up to Christmas. I took deep breath and just started pray asking God to change my attitude. To give me an attitude and spirit of joy, patience and love. To take away my anxiety and to give me peace in the situation.
It is very easy to let the petty annoyances build up and cause us to react. To let disappointments become bigger than they really are and lead us away from the peace and joy that we are trying to have this Advent.
This Gaudete Sunday let us find one thing to rejoice about. You got one present wrapped. Your favourite Advent song was sung at Mass. Someone complimented you on your clothes, hair, smile or the wonderful behaviour of your kids.