And so a new year begins… in the Christian tradition, we mark another circle around the sun.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent – a time to begin anew. As the month of December begins energy pulls toward Christmas.
Every store we enter, every advertisement we see, many songs we hear — all focus on the importance of preparing for Christmas. This is often chaotic, stress-building preparation. Preparation far from the call to collect oneself and gather with others to intentionally listen for sounds of God’s arrival.
Advent is a time set apart to live with a sense of wonder and anticipation. It is a time to settle the noise around you, to wait for something to come- something exciting and new.
Does your heart race? Do you feel a bit unsettled?
Light a candle in the dark places and stay alert.
Thank you, Roger Hutchison, for this beautiful image of Advent1.
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
It is easy to be distracted – by life and all of its busy ways. Capturing moments of awe and wonder can be difficult, as we so often hear words discouraging the need for such time. Words that insist we only look in the directions guided by others.
These demands leave a restless and hungry spirit. A spirit longing to explore without direction. Wander into places where there is no need for answers. Wander long enough to appreciate the miracle of creation in detail.
Like prayer, these moments away from the directed path of life are found with intention. It is not the amount of time given, five minutes is as good as one hour. This time is calm for the soul —
— calm much needed for balance in this world which spins faster each day.
Quote: Mary Oliver
Concepts create idols;
only wonder comprehends anything.
People kill one another over idols.
Wonder makes us fall to our knees.
Quote: Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-395)
Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
Quote: G.K. Chesterton
Image: Cornelia Gatz
I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.
Quote: Diane Ackerman
Photo: Linda Hannum