Hopeful expectation. Anxious waiting. Impending arrival.
Advent; a season that leads to something greater.
I have a number of “advents” going on in my life. There is the preparation that comes with finals, and the anticipation of break, and the hope of graduation. Every day is filled with little reminders of the preparation that something bigger is still to come. There is also the anticipation that comes with having friends and family that live elsewhere and the abundant excitement that comes with long-awaited reunions. You prepare food, clean the house and wear something nice because you desire for the people you love to have the best you've got. And for the past month it has been the season of preparation for the Christ child, the one that is to come as Immanuel; God with us and God for us.
This year my mom gave my sister and I an advent bag (vs. advent calender) and each day there was something new to open. Some days it was something silly like magnets for the fridge, and other days it was more sentimental like a handwritten card. But each morning I would wake up with excitement because there was something new and unexpected to unwrap. It was exciting to be able to countdown to Christmas in a visible way.
There are times where I enter into a season of advent less than thrilled. Patience is not a strength of mine. I grimace at the preparation and look at the “waiting” period as something that I don’t need. I wonder if some of Israel felt this way sometimes.; wondering how much longer until the prophecy is filled and the season of wait is over. I wonder if there were times when they doubted whether or not it was true, or times when hope was hard to find.
Then there are moments where you are nearing the end of the advent season and you look back on the time passed with fondness, knowing that the obstacles and challenges overcome in the past were well worth the wait. We get a little restless and feel anxious and excited knowing that the hope of something greater is within reach.
Advent is everywhere. Advent is always happening.
Sometimes advent is something we long for and sometimes it is something we accidentally find ourselves in. But what I have found is that advent acts like fuel to the fire of motivation.
Without the hope in something more, and without the anticipation of something greater it is far too easy to become complacent in a world where there is so much to be done. Advent opens, for us, so many possibilities and brings us to a place where the presence of God transforms us into a greater likeness of himself.
This year I have been challenged to rethink my views on the season of waiting.; to begin to embrace and fully enter into the mystery of the unknown. When we begin to embrace those things advent transforms into advent(ure) and a new excitement is woven into the everyday-ness of the journey. Advent(ure) paints for us an activity that we must fully enter into so that the season may bring forth fruit of its fullest potential. It requires our participation and places within us the responsibility to activity engage with it, in order to be changed by it.
May we always be in a season of advent(ure) where our hearts are a little bit restless and we continuously hold on to the hope that something greater is still to come.