Anticipation. That is what comes to mind when I think about Advent. The excitement leading up the birth of our savior, counting down the days, singing songs of prophesies foretold and helping make Christmas miracles come true. Unchecked this anticipation can turn into anxiety. Checking off lists; did I get everything done? There are how many days left? I don’t have enough time! How much does that gift cost and how am I going to pay for it!? Anxiety invites in stress. One more present, one more pie, one more donation, one more ornament, one more office party, one more one more one more. Before we know it the presents have been ripped open and we’re already anticipating the New Year’s Day sale at Dillards. Where did the month go?
Thinking about Mary and her anticipation I can’t help but wonder, did she cherish every single day or did she feel a need to hurry it up? 9 months is a long time to anticipate God’s greatest gift. Did she worry about all she had to do to prepare, allowing the stress of such a responsibility weigh her down? Or did she take time each day to stop and meditate on the miracle that was a part of her and soon to be a part of our world.
During this Advent season lets not let the joy of anticipation slip through our fingers. Take time each day to cherish the wonder of God coming to dwell with us. It’s okay to be excited about presents and decorations, volunteering and baking. Sharing our time and talents are part of what the wonder of Christmas is all about. But don’t forget what we are preparing for. This should be the season to slow down and savor the days rather than race to the finish line.