To say this is a fast-paced time of year is an understatement, right? Concerts, parties, decorations to be strung, stockings to be hung, people to feed, gifts to buy and wrap and give ... and sometimes return.
It is too easy to lose oneself in the hustle and bustle. Too easy to think the hustle and bustle is the point; cortisol and adrenalin our best source of fuel. We are all running a race we barely remember signing up for.
The question, "Are you ready for Christmas?" feels less like curiosity and more like chastisement. I have never had a good answer to that question. I am even a bit unsure what it even means? Have I bought all my gifts? Wrapped every one? Is my house clean? Fresh sheets on every bed? Fridge filled? Fudge made?
Most of the time, my answer to every single one of those questions is a resounding No!
But what if there is another kind of urgency?
An urgency that doesn't have anything to do with purchasing or decorating or baking or cleaning?
An urgency that doesn't rest on our weary shoulders?
Irish poet John O'Donohue ends one of his beautiful blessings with a gentle coaxing to recall the most important urgency of all:
"May you know the urgency with which God longs for you."
Read that a few times over.
May you remember this Advent - in the midst of all the hustle and bustle - that the God of the universe loves you and longs for you with more dogged persistence and determination that you can ever comprehend.
Even if you never pay God one whit of attention.
And that -- that is really all you need to know.