Yesterday was the first Monday of Advent, and already I felt as though I have missed it. I got sick over Thanksgiving and I was seriously just trying to make it through my first day back at school. I turned the heat up and the lights off, but my nose wouldn’t let me nap. I had to blow it too often.
I was weary. I am weary.
I could tell you that it is the illness, the long drive home, the too little sleep. I could tell you that and it would be the truth, but not all of it.
Every single one of my plans for the significant future shifted beneath my feet this fall. The landscape of my summer, next fall, beyond, became unrecognizable and impossible for me to navigate. Where I once had a solid three-year plan, I now have a lot of questions.
I was, for a while, trying not to be angry, but have learned it is best for me to be hospitable to my own emotions, to feel whatever it is I want to feel. I have learned that anger is almost always my way of defending against a grief I am trying to avoid.
I am so weary.
Of promises not kept, of dreams deferred, of disappointment.
I am wondering how long, not yet really is. How much longer will not yet last?
I’m asking these questions for myself, but also for the world.
How much longer will violence prevail, will kids be shot, will death win out? How much more can our world be ravaged, can our communities be broken, can our souls take?
How much longer? How much more?
As I begin this season, the slow and steady walk to the manger, I can’t be shake my head a little. The balm the Lord has to offer seems a little thin.
We have a world need rescuing, and you sent a baby? Born to a poor woman? In a manger that is not even in her home town? Are you serious?
I am weary, thirsty, and so very tired, and you give me….hope? What good is that going to do? I need a PLAN! I need ACTION! I need HELP! and I get a baby, in a manger, and the promise of hope.
Isn’t that just like God? Isn’t it just like God to give me the solution that I am sure is not going to work. Isn’t it just like God to give me a baby in a manger and an invitation to the whole world to come, when what I want is some sort of Rambo figure coming down to take care of the pieces I don’t want redeemed? Isn’t it just like God to offer me hope to cling to when I am wishing for a binder full of the plans for the rest of my life.
Last night, we didn’t decorate the tree, or even finish unpacking. I got pizza, and noticed a candy coated sky. Then I fell asleep at 6:30. What I wanted was to do all the holiday things, but what brought me healing was rest.
A baby, a manger, a promise of hope. Okay. Let’s try it this way.