I have been married for a little over five years. In those five years, Jeff and I have experienced a lot. We have moved five times, across states and in different homes. We bought a dog that we probably love too much, changed jobs, travelled to new places, made some awesome friends, had some good laughs and some good cries, (well, I have) and did our best trying to be “adults.” I have learned a lot living life with Jeff. For example I now know how to spot deer rubs on trees, and take a fish off a hook. Some lessons may be more profound than others. J One lesson came early on in our dating days, which I discovered was something he learned from his dad. Ever since Jeff and I first started dating, he would often ask me, “What are you looking forward to?” If I couldn’t think of something, he would quickly work hard to change that.
This simple question has taught me some profound lessons. I find so much joy writing down our next adventure in my planner, whether it is a quick Starbucks run or day trip to the zoo. To have something to anticipate is exciting, and makes the gray days just a little less gray. But as I have grown with this idea, I realize that it is not only about anticipating the next big event on my calendar, it’s also learning to love and celebrate all the little moments in between.
As a society we have been trained to mark our calendars for December 25th, and wait with great anticipation for this one day. But the Advent Season gives us a chance to mark our spiritual calendars with so much more. Jesus could have come to earth and completed His mission in one day, one hour, or even one minute. But instead He chose to take His time, and spend it with us. He chose to come as a baby becoming fully human, and live how we live, puberty and all. (I really wonder why he didn’t change that after he experienced it J) He chose to walk where we walk, to grow in relationships with others and work to understand himself. He chose to feel with us and for us, to take on the joy and pain of others. He didn’t want to only give us hope, love, joy, and peace, but he wanted to experience it all with us. This is why the season of Advent is so special. We have an opportunity to stop, and intentionally celebrate all that Jesus has brought us. All the good and wonder that is not only found on THE Big Day, but also in the daily, mundane but extraordinary moments that make up our lives. We should mark our calendars, and anticipate the great day of Jesus and His coming, but let’s not stop there. Let us learn to live and celebrate all of the moments in between, and take the time that Jesus did to be with one another. So when you ask your neighbor, “What are you looking forward to?” and they don’t know how to respond, give them something to anticipate, and remind them that there is a lot of hope, love, joy, and peace for them today while they’re waiting.