I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had a thing. You know, I was “busy.”
How many times have you heard someone mention their busy-ness in the past few days or weeks? I personally have spoken those words more than a few times, in various tones of voice.
There is the too-tired-to-move, “Oh, I’m so busy…”
There is the there-is-no-way-in-heck-I-will-ever-get-this-done, “Arrgh, I’m so busy!”
And then the ever popular my-Advent-has-got-to-be-so-much-more-hectic-than-your-Advent-so-get-out-of-my-way-you-pathetic-slacker, “Sorry, I’m just so BUSY!”
This is the time of year that clergy and other church staff smile at each other and say, “It’s that time of year, isn’t it?” then we chuckle and go right ahead with whatever insane busy-ness we were up to before pausing those few moments to comment on the insanity itself. The season of Advent just seems to fill up with business (and busy-ness) that we can’t avoid, … and maybe we shouldn’t.
Remember that bumper sticker that said, “Jesus is coming: Look busy!”?
Is there some kind of a spiritual discipline in ordering the busy seasons of one’s life? All of this burst of activity in preparation for the birth of God’s Messiah – maybe, like all things, it’s okay in moderation. After all, this is a pretty significant birth for which we are preparing, isn’t it? Our activity is driven by no less that Christ’s new entrance into our lives, something for which we have quite a bit of preparing to do. Our “to do list” is long, and we had better get busy: open up, get into receiving mode, spruce up our lives a little bit (or maybe even a lot).
This is not to say that we are to participate in a kind of holiday style works righteousness. The things we do do not earn our salvation. All of this Advent activity is voluntary. We choose to vacuum the living room when guests come over; it is not required. Similarly, we choose to engage in Advent business when the Guest is coming over, though it is not required. And some Christians would do well to recall that faith without works is dead. Or said another way, The grace of God does not imply passivity on the part of the receptors.
I am tired tonight, and a lot of my weariness is due to the preparations that are a part of this Advent season, and a part of ministry in general. But it is, as my mom sometimes says, a “good tired.” It is a tired resulting from Advent activity in preparation for Christmas. It is a tired with a sense of accomplishment behind it. I’m not going nuts; I know when to slow down and when to take Sabbath rest. It's all about balancing activity and rest - the both/and - the yin/yang.
Yeah, sure I’m busy. But - Jesus is coming! So let's get busy!