We’ve got a couple of pretty big things in December. A “big” birthday, a little holiday excursion, a big holiday, some serious “anybody but them” football games. You know, December.
I’ll bet your holiday season looks about the same, perhaps a little more cluttered or rushed, perhaps a bit more peaceful and slow. But this is a time of year when things can get more hectic than we want them to, more hours of commitment than hours in the day, more to finish. Just more.
Spiritually, even during these four weeks of Advent, it can be difficult to concentrate on anything but that target date, which, for many if not most Christians, is December 25. For most of my life, this season has been all about the holiness of that single day on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus. For most of my life, the churches I attended and our family traditions didn’t make much of this precious pre-Christmas Day remembrance of the Jews’ longing for the Messiah.
We didn’t anticipate the Day with a heightened sense of gratitude or longing for the second coming of Christ.
For those who have long celebrated the season of Advent, this quiet anticipation and sense of wonder is not new or unfamiliar. For me, it’s a different kind of journey. It’s learning about adjusting my focus and measuring my steps more closely.
And what is most difficult for me is simply finding a path and staying the course. There are so ding-dang many wise, meaningful, and lovely Advent resources – books, calendars, on-line reminders, pictures with verses, daily emails.
Good golly, Miss Molly – I just love and want them all for my spiritual enlightening and seasonal enrichment.
But that’s just it – all is too many. All isn’t holier. All doesn’t make Advent more meaningful or richer.
All is too much.
All is keeping the clothes I don’t wear and the books I don’t need. All is making sure there is extra “just in case”. All is not wanting to open my hands for the best, for fear of losing what I already have.
All is the clutter of more suffocating the beauty of enough.
So, my lovelies, instead of jumping at the next gorgeous Facebook meme and signing up for a daily reminder… instead of ordering that highly-recommended new Advent journal, paying for rush delivery, and hurriedly catching up for the days I “missed” … instead of longing for and finding and getting it all, I’m re-reading Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, by Kris Camealy, a beautiful book I never did finish. And I’m appreciating the Advent verses, thoughts, and words of wisdom I might happen to see posted today, not frantically searching out the one I may have missed yesterday or the day before.
I’m refusing to try to get it all. Or do it all. Or be all.
That’s way above my pay grade.
So on this second Monday of the Season of Advent, please accept this blessing of
I pray that you have plenty to share and some to save. I pray that you find beauty in things simple or plain. During this season of longing, let’s pray that our focus sharpens, so that what we see and cherish is enough.
And let’s pray that our enough lasts all year. Pray that we find pleasure in things simple and regular – leaving behind those things big and most to make room for the beauty of the small and ordinary – those things that are enough.
Because enough is all we need.