Thursday, January 05 2012
This fall while I was teaching Crossing the Threshold I taught a lesson on Sacred Time, so it was natural for me to really consider the time Christians call Advent. I didn't decide to just practice Advent or do something holy and spiritual. It was more like going on a journey and entering a new land where everything was strange including the way time passed. A good description of this might be like Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away; he stepped out of chronos time and into kairos time which forced him to live in a very different reality.
What I discovered in this new landscape called Advent was that the Lord really did come, in some amazing and very personal ways. I received gifts from him that were truly life changing and of course the greatest gift was himself...more of Jesus!
I also found that I was different in this place. Beauty replaced my busyness. People replaced the presents. I spent hours perhaps, gazing at my tree caught up in its beauty and remembering people and places associated with the ornaments, then offering up prayers for all those who came across the threshold of my memory. There was a deep sense of gratitude that took hold of my heart and replaced the usual worry over what I needed to be doing or getting. No grasping in other words, just a time of receiving.
When I did venture out to go shopping that time was radically altered too. I purchased fewer gifts but they were much more intentionally chosen. The Lord even seemed to come and help me find what I needed. After my only trip to our very large mall I did something I have never done before...I took myself out to dinner at a restaurant in the mall and sat and just enjoyed the beauty and people there!.
By the time Christmas actually arrived I could look back and see that my time in Advent had not only been good for me it had changed me. Like Tom Hanks coming off his island ....he could no longer go back to his FedEx frantic ways; he took kairos with him and lived on that "kind" of time. I knew that this had happened to me when I started quite unconsciously referring to 2012 as the Year of Our Lord. It just flowed when I wrote or spoke or thought about the new year. In the year of our Lord 2012...it was the most natural thing I could say.
What a beautiful way to start a new year. To know that it is His year, His time, and because I know how good He is it will be a good blessed year....The Year of Our Lord.