List-Making & Advent

My sister-in-law recently opened an old notepad and found a hand-written list from a few decades ago.

photo-7It was in a childish curly cursive, and at the top of the list was the name “Liz.”

That is me. It was my list.

I have no idea what the story is behind the items on that list—I only had a goldfish for 48 hours before it died a tragic death, but I did have a troll and I did love Tetris. Seeing these scribbles from my childhood makes me happy, though, because the truth is, I am a compulsive list maker. And now I have proof that I always have been!

Lists keep me calm when my mind is running a mile a minute before a trip, keep me organized at the grocery store, remind me of the items I need to do, need to ask the doctor, need to send e-mails about, need to…need to… need to…

In a nutshell, lists help me prepare for what is to come.

And that’s what Advent is all about—preparation.

Here we are in the third week of Advent already. That pink candle of the third Sunday is to remind us—and reassure us—that we’re more than halfway to Christmas! That there is joy coming into the world very very very soon. That even as we remember why Christ needs to come again every year—because this is a broken world—we also remember that he already came, bringing joy into that brokenness, and will come again, bringing joy into our brokenness.

But that pink candle of the third Sunday also does something else—it reminds those of us who feel like time is slipping away from us that we better GET OUR REAR ENDS PREPARED. Christmas is a-coming.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time living in the present moment. It is hard to slow down and breathe and pray in this season. I’m being circumnavigated by a toddler at all times, I can’t even remember if I’ve brushed my teeth this morning, and the last time I looked at my calendar I swear it was only October.

The season I’m living in doesn’t much feel like the season of Advent.

The season I’m living in makes it hard to prepare my heart for Christmas, to say the least, which is rapidly sneaking up on me.

There’s not much I need more than a kick in the pants.

So I think I’ll go put that at the top of my to-do list this morning.

To do:

Kick in the pants.

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I realize nobody else is paying attention to these things, but on the off chance you are, you can make note that this is not a recycled, 3-year-old post. It’s my contribution to our church’s annual Advent devotional guide for this year.
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