So… I love this idea of Advent so much I wrote a book. I thought about Advent so much, the season of it, the stepping outside the race. Determining to dwell in the season.
Then suddenly it was Advent – 3 days in and I realise I’m a hot mess.
My heart is resentful not rested.
My mind is scattered not settled.
I am tangled up in a sea of lights with a to-do list that is growing by the minute.
It’s like I’ve stood at the start line, in all the right gear, all trained, all shiny, all good to go and then as the starting gun has gone off I’ve run straight into the first hurdle and landed all skinned up and shamed while the others have sped on.
So I’ve stopped and been furious with myself. I’ve felt cross at others, I’ve entertained resentment. I’ve even made it a cup of tea and really got comfortable with it. I have tumbled down and stayed there.
Then, I’ve really stopped and waited and listened with more than my ears. I’ve been reminded that Advent isn’t about me creating something perfect – it’s about me receiving something perfect.
That first arrival is not some grand display of power and might. It is a cosmic display of humility, of emptying, of being small – so small that God, the Word can fit inside skin.
Today I’m holding tight to the fact that Adventing well is not about what I can achieve in 24 days, doing it well is about letting Hope grow in my heart. Letting the inner part of me expand to prepare to host the Word.
I’m closing my eyes to the lists.
I’m quieting the resentments that try to tell a tale that I am put upon, that I am put out, that others are getting in the way of me doing well.
I am taking myself to the unholy smell and mess of the manger to realise what Hope was laid to rest there. To receive Hope.
To realise that the answer lies not in the doing but the dwelling.
Sometimes the best of all achievements is the letting go. The laying down the burden of perfection and the disappointment that minimises the everyday joys.
My word for today is receive.
Today I’m letting go of every expectation of me. I am turning my face to the Light. I am saying – here is an open door. I need you. I needed you to come. I need you to come again.
Right now I need you in this messy sacred moment.
I am taking seriously the invitation to receive Him.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
I come to receive. I want the best gift of all. I want you Jesus.