November 29, 2010 | 01:27 pm

Monday - Phone Calls & Priorities

I was working on a major project, and for several months everything revolved around getting it launched. It represented a tremendous opportunity in my career so I made it the singular focus of my life. This also meant I was spending little time with my family. I felt bad neglecting them, but I justified it as a temporary thing that would eventually benefit us all. Then one night the phone rang and I learned my daughter was in an accident. In a split-second my priorities were rearranged. The project no longer mattered, and I dropped everything to go to the hospital (fortunately she was okay). It was a moment of clarity about what was important to me. As I think about it, what scares me most is how quickly I fell into a pattern of living that did not reflect the most important things in my life—something I’m sure many of us can relate to. That’s why we need Advent. It is intended as a time that interrupts the ordinary routine of our lives so we can evaluate where the trajectory of our schedules, priorities, and commitments are taking us. All too quickly we accept what is as all there can ever be. But Advent brings hope that there is something more. As we move towards Christmas and what the birth of Christ means, we are moving towards a new way of seeing what life could be.  The first step is opening ourselves to something new, something unexpected.