Guest posting

Stay Awake

snowy fence

I am specifically avoiding making a physical to-do list because I’m afraid of what it will look like. Perhaps not the most effective method of accomplishing one’s goals, but this is where I am at the moment, effective or not.

No matter how much I try to prepare in advance for Advent, it still catches me off guard, year after year.  Paying attention feels challenging, I rarely feel ready for Christmas.

I wonder if that’s not precisely the point. Pregnant women know well the uncertainty of those last days of pregnancy. Unless your baby’s birth is scheduled, you’re told from about the 36th week to “be ready” and “pay attention” to the changes you may experiences as labor draws near. But no one knows when exactly birth will occur–even when it is starred and circled on our calendars.

Advent feels very much like that last month of pregnancy. Tiring, uncertain, heavy and exciting.

In the middle of the busiest shopping weekend of the year, with the steady lure of distractions and temptations streaming into my inbox, I fight to be present–to Pay attention. The Saturday before Advent , I listen to a scripture reading on my phone while warming Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner. The recorded voice reads a passage from the 13th chapter of the book of Mark. As I listen to Jesus’s words to his disciples, urging them to “stay awake, I am struck by the insistence with which He speaks this message. “Be on guard”, He says. “Stay Awake”–

I’m writing today over at Christie Purifoy’s place.

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