“Do you know where the gloves got put?”
“Which box is our comforter in?”
“Do I have any pants?”
These are the questions I field at least once a week since we moved in June. With each request, I go searching through the house–looking into random closets, digging into partially opened tubs and boxes and rummaging around shelves I can’t see the tops of. Eventually I find that pants are on top of a dresser, the comforter is in a vacuum sealed bag and gloves, well, it’s not that cold yet.
The searching in our house these past few months has been reflected in my spirit, too. I seem stuck in a cycle of perpetual searching. I’m searching to find my place in a new community, searching to define myself as an author, searching to establish myself in a new career, and even searching to figure out who I am now that I’m 40.
I have to be honest, searching for gloves, comforters and pants is a lot easier.
I feel like, after a season of mountaintop living, I have been thrust back into the wilderness. I’m trying to find the light of God’s leading, but there are no bushes ablaze around me. There’s no pillar of fire going before me into the darkness pointing east or west. There’s just me kicking up sand and wondering if I’ve passed this rock before.
Lent has traditionally been the time for wilderness wanderings; however, Advent finds us in the wilderness, too. Jesus didn’t enter into a world festooned with mistletoe and holly. He entered humanity in a time of violence, fear, uncertainty and injustice. He came when people were seeking a light to dispel the darkness of poverty, injustice and oppression. He came when people were seeking hope.
The world hasn’t changed much since Jesus first came. We might string mistletoe and holly more freely around our homes, but there is still violence, still fear, still uncertainty, still injustice. Like the people of Jesus’ time, we are still seeking a light to dispel the darkness of the world around us.
Advent provides us with the opportunity to wait, in hopeful expectation, for the Light of the World to come. And come he will, because he’s always been there.
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
through the Word was life,[a]
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light. John 1:1-5 (CEB)
Whatever you find yourself searching for this Advent, embrace the uncertainty of finding it. Give yourself over to God’s work in your life. Wait in hopeful expectation for the Light that was, is and will come.
Blessings and Peace,