Monday, December 15, 2008

Stop Rushing!

Eleventh Advent Reading

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him…

Psalm 37:7

Everything stopped as a worshipper calmly stepped forward, clicked the wheel on his cigarette lighter and lit an additional candle on the Advent wreath. With baited breath the remaining worshippers watched silently. The pastor said, “Thank you.” But the muttered words of one member spoke the truth, “Well I guess the second Sunday of Advent suddenly turned into the third Sunday.”

In the flurry of events and burgeoning schedules during the Advent/Christmas season it’s not surprising to feel ourselves rushing. Our days go into hyper-drive as we check off our lists that give us a sense of accomplishment. We live one day while thinking ahead to the next or the one after. There is so much to do with little time.

It takes an act of will to stop rushing. Like the worshipper who hadn’t even experienced the second Sunday of Advent before preparing for the third we lose ourselves in the “structures” of the season. Caught up in the structures we miss the quietness of being still, waiting, and meditating on the significance of the season.

Jesus didn’t come to support the commercial or even religious structures of our rushing, frenetic days. The hard, uncomfortable ride to Bethlehem wasn’t a mad dash to the mall. The stable didn’t provide the appropriate Christmas ambience. The feed trough had never seen fine linen or sterling silver. Jesus came simply, lived simply and simply loves all who take time to be still before him.
Jesus, forgive me.
As I have “waited”
for you I have been rushing
through the days
without being still before you.
Help me to stop, be still and wait.

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