I have a dear friend who has been a Servite sister for many decades. Last week she mentioned in passing that in her community they have a tradition that she called “Go gracefully.” It means that before someone goes on a trip she gets everything done ahead of time. Laundry is done, suitcase packed, driving directions printed off or boarding pass ready. “Go Gracefully” means that the night before the trip or the morning of the excursion, there is a peaceful readiness about everything and no last-minute panic.
I have thought of that a number of times in the days since I have seen her and pondered what a gentle and sensible tradition that is. When we are running around excitedly trying to get our last-minute things done, our urgency is imposed on everyone around us. My panic becomes the prominent emotion in the house. My problem becomes everyone else’s problem.
It’s bad enough in a family, but if I project that kind of alarming behavior on a whole community of people, I can create quite a disturbance simply because I did not plan ahead. What a sensible tradition for people who live in community – and for the rest of us!
I even think about workplace panic. If I have a big meeting that I am procrastinating preparing for, my last minute fear and anxiety will fill the office and disturb my colleagues. My disquiet will seep into those around me at work or at home.
This is a good time of year for all of us to remember to go gracefully. It is a special way we can love those around us by remaining at peace and turning our fretting over to our loving God.
“The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.”
Psalm 121Image by wwarby under Creative Commons license.