Back to Advent.
The last week has been all about returning to the waiting, but I keep getting distracted. There are so many other things demanding my attention that I’m absent from the waiting. I’m not fully present.
Advent is about one focus: The coming of the King.
I have no focus. Will Costco be busy after lunch? Will the doctor tell us today that the boy needs surgery? Where is he going to college? How is the other boy doing as he preps for tests? I hope I never visit Yuma again. What are we having for dinner? I wonder what I weigh today? And on and on it goes…
My mind is stirred by many, many things. Many inconsequential things.
It’s hard to wait well when you’ve filled up every moment of your calendar with stuff that requires doing and going and starting and completing. It’s easy to fool myself into believing that waiting is not necessary. Too much to do to wait around. While I’m not a fan of Larry the Cable Guy, I fear his “Getter done!” has become the motto of Christmas past and present.
The Virgin Mary had a different approach. If there was anyone who should have been stirred up and distracted by the coming of the King, it would be she. Yet she’s not. The angel tells her she’s going to have a baby. Not just any baby, but The Baby, and she replies with a very focused question: “How can this be?” Singular focus. How can This Baby be coming to me? Jesus captured her attention from the moment His coming was announced.
As with us, she attends to what has her attention. “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” No distraction. Fully present. Here am I.
How did she do this? She resisted the urge to do something. She refused to let this become about what she would do. Instead, she rested in what God would do. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…For nothing is impossible with God.” She kept her focus on the power and might of God’s work.
Maybe part of the reason God allows such big things into our lives is so that we’ll just say “Here am I.” When circumstances are so big, messy, and complicated we’ll not be distracted to think we can do something about it. It will have to be all God.
There are always other options. You can resist the outcome. Rescue the drama. Rework the plan. All will provide adequate distraction therapy. Or you can restfully wait, fully present in the presence of the God of the Impossible.
Are you distracted? Get your focus. Let Jesus capture your attention and repeat after Mary, “Here am I.”
You can read the biblical story for yourself in Luke 1:26-37. Any new insights? I would love to hear about them.