I'm blogging from Union City, California. I had my first taste of Thanksgiving turkey yesterday and my first experience of after-thanksgiving sale today. Both were truly American sensations and even though I had a lot of fun, I felt like an alien.
It was fun to shop, I won't lie about that. But a tiny voice inside me told me that if I kept at it I could get caught up and pretty soon forget that all these - everything in this world - is temporary. I went to mass on Thanksgiving Day with my dad and uncle at St. Bede's in Hayward. While at church I felt guilty already, after only four days of vacation. I may have been guilty 50% of the time and just plain anxious the rest of the time. I know I'll be measured in heaven but I sure do try to do it myself sometimes. Or some people do it for me.
I feel so far away from home. I watch, I feel, I observe. I appreciate so many wonderful things like the autumn leaves and the amazing bargains at the outlet stores, and yet part of me feels homesick. I miss home. I was in heaven for a few minutes last Wednesday - at Chocolate Heaven in San Francisco. This country could be consumer heaven for me if I forget who I'm supposed to be - a pilgrim whose job is to wait.
It's advent and the waiting has begun. I am being distracted 24/7. I know I'm on vacation but I have to remind myself that I'm not on vacation from my relationship with God. I'm not on vacation from my prayer life. I'm not on vacation from my journey towards my God.
I have to erase the face of Santa in my heart and remember Jesus lives there.
Believe you me, when I start posting my photos and writing my adventures, you'll see why for a while there, I forgot about the Giver of the gifts and the Reason for the season.