While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to deliver her baby. When Jesus was born, Mary wrapped him in cloth, and laid him in a cattle feeding stall where they were lodging, because there was no other room for them in the whole village.

There are no more poignant words in the whole Bible:

There was no other room for them in the whole village,

or in a more traditional rendering:

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

There are five days left until Christmas. For most people these are probably crowded days. The story of Mary and Joseph’s arrival in Bethlehem invites us to ponder an important and profound question.

For what do I make room in my life?

The truth is we all make room in our lives for something. We do make choices. We are not powerless victims. We decide how the precious moments of our days are going to be spent.

And, the way we choose to spend our lives, creates either more clutter that obstructs our awareness of the Divine Presence at the heart of life, or it opens space in our lives that enables us to be more conscious of the Divine Mystery that permeates all of existence.

The direction of our choices decides the reality of our lives. We can choose to attach more to the surface of life determined to shape our external circumstances to our liking. Or, we can choose to follow the path that Mary and Joseph took and align ourselves with the deep Mystery and Beauty of life embodied in the holy baby sheltered in the stable that was the only space open to the miracle of his birth.

Advent challenges me to decide, where I will invest my life. To what will I give the limited energies of my being?