Day nine of a daily meditation, a practice of free writing on words of Advent this season...
Prepare: to make ready beforehand; to put in a proper state of mind; to put into written form.
It's ironic, for sure, that to write about this word, prepare - to write these Advent posts at all - I must first sit and ponder and listen, to quiet all voices but one. His.
And, in the spirit of confession and authenticity, friends, there's quite a clamor of voices these days in me, with varying degrees of success at silencing them. More likely than not, the clamor just rose to a higher decibel when I decided to prepare for Advent with this daily practice of writing. There's too much at stake in silence, too much to receive from Christ here in this place, so the clamor rises to distract from the one who is peace and truth and life. To distract, especially, from desire. The very thing I wrote about yesterday.
"...the greater the radius of light, the wider the perimeter of darkness." I read this in a book today by one of my favorite authors, Madeleine L' Engle, and it shot me straight through.
The more I write and prepare my heart again for the coming of Christ, the more I see how all these words that I've been writing on knit so tightly together, and I'm not wise or talented enough to have planned it this way. Here I am trying to prepare for him, and he's already ahead of me, smoothing out the road as I pass through slowly with a shovel, stooped to dig out rocks along the way. I'm trying to smooth out the rough places, and I squint my eyes to see his figure in the distance, leveling the ground, raising up the fallen, broken stretches of path and bringing down the high and lofty places.
I can prepare, and so can you. But we can't out-prepare Christ. He's already prepared the way for his coming in our lives. Like a dad that loosens up the dirt for his son to "dig" beside him as he works in the backyard. If we set our hearts to prepare for him, we can look ahead, down the road, and even behind us, and see that he has laid the groundwork for us to find him.