I have a hard time with Advent. It’s a difficult season for me. Lent goes pretty easily–I can handle the time of reflection, the lack of coffee or whatever I’m fasting, the time spent serving and preparing. I can celebrate during the seasons of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost.
But Advent is hard.
It’s not the waiting. I’m pretty patient, usually. Waiting’s never been all that difficult for me. In fact, I tend to be careful about wishing time to go faster because I’m pretty aware that it already goes fast enough.
You probably already know what’s difficult about Advent. I think it gets a little bit harder every year.
The retailers and probably a lot of your neighbors started celebrating Christmas after Halloween. Stores and restaurants have been decorated for days; the music’s already playing everywhere; all over our neighborhood houses have been shining with strands of lights for weeks; party invitations have been sent; activities are filling the squares of our calendars; gift exchange names have been drawn; Black Friday sales started as early as they could and still be on Friday; Jason and I are having our annual discussions about how much we’ll spend, on whom and on what; the next month seems very chaotic.
It’s not supposed to be that way. Every year it seems to be a little bit more out of control, but it seems almost impossible to derail a train that’s moving so fast.
Every year, I do my best to not get so caught up in…EVERYTHING. But every year, it’s hard to slow down. I might get my reading time in each day. I might spend time reflecting and waiting for Jesus. I might even get my family to slow down and do the things that matter more than presents and events. But the chaos is still there.
It’s only day one. I’m taking some deep breaths and spending some time waiting for the One we should all spend a little more time waiting on this month.