It’s always the same thing; I start any project with great enthusiasm and high hopes. And after the shine dulls a little, I lapse into my old, comfortable, slacking ways.
I didn’t think my Advent would deteriorate so quickly, but I’m afraid it has burnt out with the speed of that first, cheap, purple candle. I can see it will be used up before we get to Gaudete Sunday.
That’s how I felt as I sat down to dinner midway through the first week of Advent. Even though I was sitting next to the candles, the lighter within my reach along with Lisa Hendey’s book, O Radiant Dawn, I still absent-mindedly crossed myself and looked to my husband to lead us in the blessing before our meal.
He just blinked at me, looking a little hurt. “You’re not going to read from your book?” I looked at him with a blank expression.
“The candle.” He gestured encouragingly. “Are you going to light the candle?”
It took me a moment to grasp what he was talking about. I had a week full of distractions and worries that got the best of me and I forgot.
Certainly, I forgot Advent — but really, I think I just threw myself into autopilot. In choosing to forget my worries, everything else went with it. There’s no question I wanted a little peace, but thank God my husband was there to redirect me. I’m not going to find peace on my own — at least not a peace that’s real, enduring, grounded in God and trusting in his will.
We laughed a little, his rueful smile an unspoken acknowledgment of the things on my mind. At his gentle urging, I picked up the book and read:
Root of Jesse, in you we find the path to wisdom and understanding, for you are the source of our courage and strength.
My husband didn’t dismiss the pain I had been feeling. On the contrary, his smile and expression were sympathetic to it, but in pointing to the candles, my husband modeled the whole posture of Advent, that there’s a light burning for a reason. That I should raise my face and look toward that Light.
Copyright 2013 Maria Morera Johnson