I get up at the same time every morning. I sit at my computer for long hours writing and creating. In the evening, I rarely go out because after a day of expending creative energy, all I want is to curl up on the couch with my sweetheart.
That’s my life. Day in and day out.
It never fails to surprise me how much I don’t think. My life is on autopilot, reinforced by my iPhone and laptop. If I had my headphones in and I was facing the front, a grizzly bear could tear out the back wall of my house and I’d never even know it.
I am the lazy jackass to which Jesus is preaching.
When the days start to shorten, I turn inward and see even less of the world around me, because it takes more energy to do things in the dark. I have to convince myself that even though it feels like midnight, it’s actually only 7:00 PM. I am absolutely dragging ass trying to stay up for anything if it ends past 8:45. The comfort is that it’s not just me. The people who were with Jesus had the same feelings, for he says that the sun will darken, the moon will not give its light… but we have to be ready, anyway.
Ready for what?
I struggle with Mark, because his favorite word in Greek seems to be “immediately.” He writes a bit too maniacaly for my taste, but I admire his passion. To be fair, as a Gospel writer you were often on the receiving end of a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, so there was no way to know if Jesus meant tomorrow or a thousand years later. I couldn’t possibly know Mark’s thought process, but it seems as if he is running around like Chicken Little.
Mark: GET READY!
Congregation: FOR WHAT?
Mark: THE SON OF MAN!
Mark: I DON’T KNOW!
When I lived in NoVA (Northern Virginia), I had a friend that was pregnant for the first time. It was a learning curve for both of us. She’d never had a baby, and I’d never before become friends with a mom my own age. Every night I prayed for the baby, that he would be happy and healthy.
I knew he was coming. I just didn’t know when. That didn’t stop me from buying baby gifts, taking long labor-inducing walks with my friend, and packing a bag of goodies just in case I had to stay in the waiting room for an extended amount of time.
Again, I knew he was coming. I just didn’t know when…. but I was READY. I could relax and enjoy the fact that all I had to do was put on my scrubs and run. Later on, I realized that being ready wasn’t the gift. It was the journey I took to get there.
I smiled walking around baby stores, exclaiming over adult clothes in miniature. I started paying attention to ads for formula and diapers. The baby didn’t change me, but getting ready to welcome him did.
And that’s all Advent really is….. waiting for the baby.
Buy the diaper genie.
Wash his clothes in Dreft
Paint his room.
Build his crib.
It’s not the baby that will change you. It’s the way you made room for him, the way you watched and waited, the way you kept alert because you knew he was coming.
Welcome to Advent, where we can all fall asleep in the waiting room together.