“Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
Edward Hays, A Pilgrims Almanac
The house is a mess right now. It looks like someone picked it up, shook it like a snow globe and set it back down again. I am spun right dizzy and wondering if the dust will ever settle.
I spent three good hours in the middle of the day trying to dig through to the other side of my crafting corner. The mess in that space, a little nook created with love by my husband, several Christmas eve’s ago, is an apt reflection of my insides. I’ve been stuffing life in for months, pushing against deadlines, appointments, school work, house work, and on and on…I’ve pushed it all to the back, stacked dangerously high and now, it threatens to collapse at any moment.
It’s exhausting, digging through this mess, I’m tempted to put it off again.
Four bulging trash bags later, and you can walk into the space without tripping. I breathe relief, as I can at last see the floor. I am embarrassed at how bad it has gotten– how I have neglected to care for this special room, gifted to me for my own creative purposes. I cringe at the similarities between the condition of my heart and this messy space.
I have so much and still, I fill the tiny cracks with more of everything else. Too many yes’s. Too many appointments. Too much doing, not enough being. I am overwhelmed by the need to make room.
I am good at expending my energy, good at ticking things off of the to-do list that never dwindles down, no matter how hard I work at it. I am good at shutting the doors and refusing to allow His occupancy.
I do it a little every day.
Too often do I relegate Jesus to the messy storage corner of my heart, the “barn” out back, the manure-stinking hay, when I ought to honor Him with more than the dirty corner, stuffed there between my wants, dreams and expectations. I stuff and stack and stash away things, ideas, dreams, hopes–they sit collecting dust and rusting, forgotten, unused.
Yet He provides me space and beauty, he gives me what I have asked for. I’m ashamed of how often I push it aside and pile more in front of it, until I don’t even remember what it looks like–or that it’s even there at all.
I spent an hour filling out a handful of Christmas cards by hand. I kept writing the same thing, ” I pray your hope is renewed in Jesus…” I think I was writing it over and over for myself. I need my hope to be renewed. I need peace amid the shaking.
When my world threatens to shake me down, I cling to the one who will not be shaken. I am leaning in, over the trash and clutter and begging God to renew my hope in Jesus, who stands at the door of my messy heart asking if there is room–will I make room for Him?
God, yes. Yes.
I’m cleaning out my heart, making room for the king. I’m sifting through the clutter and reclaiming what he created for me out of love, washed in his life’s blood. I’ve a little time left to prepare.
There’s only a little more time.
How are you making room for the coming Christ this season?