It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . even in my inbox! If looking like Christmas means lots of ads and urgency to get in on the latest holiday deal. The other day in my inbox was an email from a retailer that shall remain nameless and the subject line said, "For the next 12 hours everything is 40%-70% off. Go."
I knew what their "Go" meant; click the link and start shopping but the "Go" of my life meant I needed to go and pick my daughter up from school and then go to the grocery store and then go get my daughter's hair cut, and then go home, cook supper, clean up and get my kids to bed. By that time I was ready to go to bed myself! I was already down 4 hours, only 8 more hours before this deal would be gone! Ah, the pressure! Sound or feel familiar?
Never enough in our culture of scarcity. Never enough time. And this ad was striving to generate sales through reinforcing that there isn't enough time, no time to waste so hurry to get the best deal you can right now. Maybe this sells blouses and pencil skirts but it doesn't help us cultivate calm and stillness as part of wholehearted living.
So, between now and Christmas, as the pressure heats up, I'm going to intentionally daily carve out time for calm and stillness. I am going to pray Advent prayers - the ones that tell me to slow down and look at the mess in my life and figure out what is really important and the ones that drive me to know where scarcity lives in me . . . and why that just might make the 12 hour shopping buzz seem like a nice way of numbing. These Advent prayers are a much better bet of knowing the truth of myself and the truth of Jesus love Incarnate. Those prayers are a much better bet for my soul to join with Mary's in saying, "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46).
I know I'm risking missing out on the deal of the century but I'll bank on a sure thing: that I'll be more of the mom, wife, and pastor I want and am called to be!