The Advent Season was not a time of great joy and peace. It was more like a time of great stress and shear desperation. It all had to be "Norman Rockwell" perfect---or I would be a failure. We all needed to be nestled by the roaring fire watching the twinkling real life tree while the scents of evergreen wafted through the air. Sitting with our mugs of perfectly brewed hot chocolate topped with hand whipped cream, nibbling on our beautiful home made Christmas cookies--listening to the reading of the Christmas story as carols softly played in the background--the perfect family Christmas. Somehow in the mad dash for the ideal Christmas, the wait became laborious and the days flew by in a spin of futility.
Christmas Eve came---we must go to the Candlelight Service, we must visit both sides of extended family, we must leave Santa cookies and milk, all the gifts had to be wrapped. It all had to be perfect---or what was the point. Falling into the bed---LONG after Santa had left unassembled toys---the wonder of Christmas morning came as early as 2:00 AM when children hopped out of the bed to see what the Old Elf had left. Toys are played with---mouths are stuffed with the perfect meal---and sometime shortly after the last dish was washed--I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion.
SOMETHING TELLS ME THIS ISN'T RIGHT---this is not the way the wait should have looked. Where did I get the idea it all had to be perfect? By what stretch of my wildest imagination did I think I could accomplish the impossible? My daughter now tells me she thought it all looked "Norman Rockwell" ish---the eye of the beholder. All I know is the regret I have now for too many hours worrying about all the wrong things and not enough time left to play with those most important.
The Advent season should be filled with joy and wonder of the coming birth of The King. I certainly attended all the "church" Christmas functions--each candle-lighting during Advent, sang with the choir for the Christmas cantata, attended the children's Christmas program, provided dishes for the family night supper, sat as a family on Christmas Eve--I did all the right things while waiting. The one thing I forgot was to leave time to prepare my heart for the celebration of His birth.
This year--I am spending time in His Word--reflecting upon His birth--the promises of Him coming--re-reading the poetry of the Psalmist. I am looking not for the perfection of the external--but instead claiming His perfection of my soul. What a wonderful time of waiting--when all is calm--all will surely be bright, as I be still and wait.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ