We’re zipping along to church, freeway flying by, wet windows blurred, last night’s snow swirling round tires and trucks as our wipers flash. We’re late to Mass (again). We’ve overdue for grocery shopping (again). We’re behind on errands and housework (again.) And I’m making to-do lists and plans and deadlines while I drive (again).
“Mama?” the small voice pipes up from the back seat. I’m thinking about Christmas cards.
I’m planning today’s Target run.
I’m mapping out house cleaning.
I’m picking my outfit for tonight’s party.
Exasperated, I turn my head, half-listening as I change lanes.
“What? What is it, sweetie?”
“Mama. I need to hear ‘People Look East‘ again.”
I sigh, half roll my eyes. Need. He needs to hear the same song he’s requested six times since we started our drive.
I absent-mindedly punch the arrow on the CD player. Back to track one again. I go back to my mental lists. He hums while he looks out the window.
The irony doesn’t hit me for a few more miles down the road.
. . .
Isn’t that always how Advent goes?
We’re making perfectly good headway on planning for Christmas, and then we’re interrupted by this strange idea: stillness, slowness, silence. I want to wrestle all I can wring out of December, desperate for Hallmark moments and picture frame memories. But Advent holds up a gentle hand and says, simply, Stop.
Stop rushing. Stop trying. Stop pushing.
Advent reminds that the real work of preparation is not cleaning or cooking or crafting or creating. It is clearing space for God. It is allowing love to interrupt.
I need to listen again. Need.
. . .