4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.

joseph-and-mary-journey5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And 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.

“The time came….” It must not have seemed a good “time”. They were far from home, cut off from family, unmarried, alone in a crowded little town with no human support.

So often, “the time” appointed feels awkward and uncomfortable.

Time brings me face to face with my finite ability to control life. Time does not operate according to my wishes; it does not serve my desires. I can only accept the reality of time as it presents itself in my circumstances.

Given the obvious constraints of time, it is curious how difficult it is to surrender the illusion of control. No matter how often I confront the limitations of my power, I continue to hope that life might conform to my will. If only I work a little harder, get a little smarter, or surround myself with the right people, I should be able to force life to submit to my wishes.

This futile strategy certainly did not work for Mary.pregnant-mary

Like all babies Mary’s boy child was born when “the time came”. He did not wait for a convenient or comfortable time. His birth did not respect his family’s schedule. He came in response to a higher destiny and a greater purpose than any human desire.

Mary could only bend her will to conform to the time as it unfolded. Her task was to open and bear the gift of life that was being born through her and beyond her control.

How do I respond when events do not conform to my perceived needs and wishes?

What practices help me open to the time as it is unfolding now in my life in order that the divine gift might be born through my life?