Whilst driving, my friend and I got a little snarkastic (snarky & sarcastic) about people’s (lack of) use of car indicators. The car changed lanes by itself, I had no idea!” and “Even I didn’t know I was going to turn here!” This made me ponder about Advent (though hopefully with less snarkasm!). In this third week of Advent, about half-way through our journey, do we know where we’re going?
December can seem like a race course. Yet we’re called to slow down, to be prayerful, to prepare God’s way. We know that the way of the Lord should not resemble a month-long over-caffeinated all-nighter. And when we got caught on the spiritual equivalent of the autobahn, we might find ourselves wanting to get off and slow down, but don’t know how to do.
So I suggest that our Advent journey should be more intentional. That we are prepared for this season just as we prepare for Christmas: identifying what we want to accomplish, setting a spiritual to-do list, mapping our course through the season. We don’t want to come into Christmas screeching to a halt, so overwhelmed by the pace of the preparation that we entirely miss the beauty of Advent. Our Advent journey is more than twice the duration as Christmas; imagine if our spiritual preparation and energy reflected that.
And on this preparatory journey, I wonder: are we signalling our path?
Our driving experiences are safer when we use those indicator lights (blinkers, hazards, reverse lights, all of them!). They show others (in advance) what our intentions are, and invite them to respond accordingly, help to promote safety for the journey.
So too, with our spiritual Advent journey, our actions can show others that we know where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there. We can reveal a different way of journeying through the month: with intentional prayer, collective worship, and revelling in the joy of the present moment.
The 25th will still come, but the condition we’re in when we get there will reflect how carefully and prayerfully we made the journey.
May our Advent continue as a slow and deliberate journey; knowing our course, signalling the way of preparation.