Advent Â the beginning of the ChurchÂs year and therefore the time to make resolutions. One of mine is to get back into writing my weekly blog for the Launde Abbey website, which you will know, if you follow it, I have been an abject failure at doing for the last few weeks. Like most people, every now and again I get overtaken by the demands of my diary and certain jobs are put off. This is what has happened to the blog.
It shouldnÂt be so Â we all know this. None of us should be so over-committed in our work and, of course, very often what we are having to do in that work is not the creative, life-giving things but the dreary, life draining jobs. This is dangerous to us because it affects our sense of well-being, our contact with ourselves, with God and with others.
To the rescue like a knight in white armour, comes the wonderful season of Advent. It demands of us that we slow down, that we give the Spirit time to grow something new deep within us, that we watch and wait. Like a mother who does not feel the baby move within her womb until about 17 to 18 weeks, we may not sense the new life within immediately but if we watch and wait on God, if we give God time, space and attention, he will deliver.
The waiting is not a doing nothing but a conscious allowing of God to grow something in us. The expectant mother knows all the time that something is happening deep inside her. She lives both with a vital sense of the present moment, of all that is happening in her, and with anticipation of what is to come. The present and the future are held in tension. And she watches: watches for the signs of change and new life.
If you are not already preparing for the new life which is at the heart of the Advent season by giving yourself more time to watch and wait, might I suggest you put some of those dreary, life-draining jobs to one side and turn to the one thing necessary, attention to all that God wants to give in the present moment that will lead in due course to new life. Watch for it and wait.