Advent Waiting

advent-wreathI remember as a little kid Advent seemed as if it was at least 6 months long. There were torturously long days in between lighting each of those candles, and I would sit in church each week counting the days until the 25th. Those first three candles burned so slowly,  I was certain Christmas would never arrive.

As I grew up, the Advent season got busier and busier so that now it seems to pass in a blur of shopping, wrapping, baking and watching our checkbook like a hawk, hoping for some miracle to stretch our money just a bit further this month. I often sit on my couch on December 26th, staring at the rubble of the last two days, and wonder where the weeks have gone?

It is easy to forget the reason for this season. We are to ready ourselves for the coming of the Lord but not by stringing lights or hanging mistletoe. Instead, we should spend quiet time with ourselves and examine whether our hearts are ready to take in the miracle of Jesus.

That sounds nice doesn’t it? But I can bet  you’re all sighing in wonder or rolling your eyes in frustration after reading that last part. It’s easy to say Advent should be a time of quiet contemplation but it is quite another to figure out how to live it.

Like most things in life, there is magic in the action. Just do something, anything this Advent season to take back Christmas. Start each morning with a short prayer. Setting your day on the foundation of quiet conversation with God goes far toward readying your heart for Jesus. It might even make all the holiday parking lots a bit more bearable. Then, end your day with five minutes of reflection on all that was good. It is easy, especially this time of year, to fall into the vortex of chaos and stress. If you purposely decide to focus on what went well instead of what flopped, or worse, what never got done, you just might surprise yourself with how many things you have to be thankful for.

Every day, take some time to focus on the wonder of the season instead of the worry. You just might find your heart full instead of your soul depleted when you’re on the couch amidst the rubble on December 26th.

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