Sunday, December 17, 2006

pivot point

Today turned out to be a bit of a pivot day for me, a turning point. I don’t know if I can explain it. In the stress of life, I tend to take my breaths based on clicking stressful responsibilities off the list. As deadlines pass, I’ll inhale and exhale and inhale and then hold it until the next deadline passes. Sometimes I’ll anticipate a period of less stress and look forward to clicking the last check box so that I can enter that period. Something always gets in the way though, of that last check box being the end or beginning of anything. It’s just another in a series.
Today, though, was different. I hadn’t anticipated today even being a check box. I’ve still got tons of grading and submitting left to do before the semester is checked off for me. I’m not adequately prepared for Christmas in that I’ve not yet braved the wilds of Harbison Boulevard.
But this afternoon, while driving west on I-26 from downtown to home, something fell away. I had Molly in the truck with me. I was bringing her home from the last Nutcracker performance. Jack’s illness meant I didn’t have to accompany him in his recital today, and since I don’t have to take Molly to school tomorrow, Allison was able to drive herself to work tonight so that I didn’t have to make my 3rd trip downtown today.

Today is the third Sunday of Advent. I led worship this morning. I spoke much more than usual, which still wasn’t much, and saw faces of recognition, solidarity, shared desires and frustrations. We sang of our desires and frustrations and impatience, and then of our trust in yet to be fulfilled promises. It was very purging. At the end of the service, I improvised a long stretch of music during a prayer time and prayed through my fingers.

So just in time for the final week of Advent, the stress seems to have broken. I’m prepared to sing the antiphons each day. Will you join me as we quietly invite the promises to be kept? As we invite the Wisdom from on high, the Dayspring, the Root of Jesse’s tree? Immanuel.
We are expecting you, come be born in us.

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