Today’s post comes from Ryan Harrison. Ryan lives in Denver, Colorado. Her days are filled with teaching, writing, and hopefully, especially in this season, spending time in God’s presence.
Everything I’ve done as this year draws to an end, I’ve done in preparation for a slow, peaceful advent season. It hasn’t worked. I am distracted. My distractions are the brick and mortar kind— the kind that often have human faces (and so, human needs) attached to them. It is an avalanche of to-do lists, holiday parties, meetings, last-minute errands and urgent-need-your-attention-immediately situations that hasn’t stopped. And so, neither have I.
In past years, I would have been disappointed that my distractions kept me from experiencing this season—a time when I’m usually intentional about slowing down and experiencing God. This year, it’s a different story. This year, I am decidedly attached to my distractions; they are safe and familiar. They dull the lacking, the missing, the emptiness that has rooted itself deep into my heart. They mask my world-weariness and my short-comings, my inability to love well.
They keep me far from God.
Accepting that God is near today, in this season of expectant waiting, would demand something of me that I lack the capacity to give.
It would demand that I put away the distractions, that I step into God’s presence and that I begin to hope. To hope that a different world is possible, that my work isn’t in vain, that I won’t always feel the lacking, the missing, the emptiness. To hope above all else that God’s promise of redemption and restoration will continue to trickle down to me, until I see its fullness.
So, today, I’ll lay down my distractions and I’ll refocus on the One whose name is hope. I’ll bundle up and walk in the quiet dawn, too early for distractions, while the cold chaps my face and reminds me of my pain. But the light will come, it will warm my face, and it will remind me to stop, to breathe, to pray.