This thought comes to mind this morning as I am struggling, and failing once again, to pray.
The habit of daily, focused time with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading is continually evading me in this season of mothering, and it is a discipline that I long for. Try as I may, time alone in this season is rarely found . . . I'll spare you the play by play.
This morning, though up excrutiatingly early with the baby my hopes for a few quiet moments were fading as the day grew later and I was still on call- kissing heads, answering questions, serving breakfast; frustrated that another day was begun and I'm not ready, I've not had the time to center myself and the day's activities, to place it all at Jesus' feet.
I was feeding the baby her breakfast. A candle burned on the table. Behind it, outside the window the first heavy snow was falling. O Come O Come Emanuel playing on Pandora. And there is calm, and rest, and one brief moment of worship.
And it occurrs to me that this is Advent- the longing, the waiting, the trying and failing- in the midst of it, Christ comes.
I find myself always waiting for the calm until I can feel ready to receive Christ- when the house is in order and the kids are asleep and I am reverent and worthy- then, maybe, I will find Him . .. but I am never worthy and life is rarely calm. I find him in the emptiness and mess, the restlessness that says all is not well. I hope. Into my mess, Christ comes.
This is beautiful: The Habit of Advent, What habits do you have that generate hope?
IN WILLIAM BLAKE’S poem "Jerusalem," he wrote: "I give you the end of a gold string./Only wind it into a ball,/It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate/built in Jerusalem’s wall."
The followers of The Way in the first century wove together a "gold string" that reached back to the creation of light in the Genesis story and forward to this very Advent. There is a golden thread that sews us together as students of Jesus. Paul calls this thread the "grace of apostleship." It is passed, hand to hand, from one generation to the next. Like kindergartners on a field trip through the big world, we are given a rope and told to hold on. We know that the rope reaches all the way back to the teacher, the anchor, the shepherd.
Advent is a time to marvel at the golden thread and to make sure that we have not become separated from it. If, by chance, you have become separated from it, do not be afraid. Jesus extends the end of the string to you again. What glistens in your life? What sweetens your days? Your answer is the beginning of the thread. "Only wind it into a ball," my friend, and "it will lead you in at Heaven’s gate."