It was one of those mornings when everybody in the house rolled out of bed. We were all tired. Still asleep (I guess) after taking our oldest son to school, I soon realized that somewhere I had turned the wrong way. Slowly waking up, I looked around and although recognizing the street itself, I wasn’t sure how traveling this street in this direction was gonna get me where I wanted to go. Over my years of driving in Atlanta, I’ve learned that once you turned onto a street (intentionally or unintentionally) you are committed. You now find yourself crawling along at less than a snail’s pace with 7 million other travelers. And your day begins…
Soon I found that my sleepy-decision suddenly made available all kinds of options. I could go this way. I could go that way. Or I could try this. I've never been that way.
Advent invites us into possibility. In these set-aside days, in our waiting we are welcomed into thinking differently. We are reminded that we are not on a train track bound only on one course. Here in these “season’s changing, winter’s coming” days we are invited to re-visit, re-connect, re-vision. This is our life. Each day, each hour the choices we make, impact and imprint us.
Perhaps this Advent is the season when we go a different way. Perhaps these are the weeks and the days when we allow ourselves a new-claimed freedom; we open our hearts to allow ourselves a new possibility. My adventure sure brought that to light for me.
As we begin the season, we know that we come dragging many bundles and burdens behind us. We bring with us worries about place and space, about belonging and security. We’re used to hauling these burdens everywhere we go. Setting them down, letting them be might not be easy.
Advent is a new season for our spirits. It invites us to wait. To listen. To be still. Here our focus isn’t on what’s been, but instead we are invited to light a candle every evening. Or hum a familiar tune in the car while driving. As the darkness grows, we are invited to look with our hearts for what is yet to be, and discover a light that has been shining all along.
Can we do it this year? Can we try another road to Bethlehem? Will we allow our hearts to join in the journey? And if we do, do you think we'll get lost? Will we discover something that has been it's been there all the time, just waiting…for us?
Breath prayer: “Here’s” “to the journey”
God of All Places and This Place, we turn to you. As we start out on this Advent journey may our focus be less on the destination and more on the journey. Help us to lay down our bundles of worry, so that we might enter into this season with arms open for what is yet to come. Guide us, this day and each day, we pray. And we are ever thankful. Amen.
believes in beginnings and beginning again, in holding on and letting go, in God's presence as close as our next breath. Lesley works as a hospice Bereavement Coordinator in Atlanta. She is an ordained minister in the UCC and has just completed her second book, "Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon in 29 Days" (to be released early in 2015).