Yesterday was the second Sunday of Advent. Already. I still have a pile of branches on my front porch from putting up the tree last week. The mantle is not decorated. No wreath on the door. Lights are up but with no creative thought...just put back where they were last year. No popcorn strings on the tree. I haven't made any cookies. I don't have a list made of what we are getting for the kids. I don't even know what the plan is this year for the extended family. I have commitments to do things for Christmas, but I have no plan for executing them yet. In short, I am behind. Profoundly so.
As a workaholic, I have most often operated in two speeds: "Faster than I can" and "Unconscious." Healthy people have more shift options than that, and I am learning to try them out. Just looking over my first paragraph, my natural bent is to drink two more cups of coffee and then literally wait for the wave of anxious adrenaline to shoot into my system, get up and go like crazy, sometimes without even a plan, just for the sheer activity. (The alternative to that is to drink two more cups of coffee and then sit and wring my hands, letting depression and anxiety wash over me, freezing me into a catatonic state of refreshing the Facebook homepage).
Yesterday was the Sunday of Peace. Shalom. The way things are supposed to be. From Jesus's story about the wheat and the weeds, Robb taught us that sometimes we can't just rip into the weeds. We have to let some things ride. That as far as it lies with us, we should be at peace with people. But that we have limits. That some things must be left to God's sovereignty. That activity for activity sake isn't necessarily the work of the Kingdom of Heaven. A message so counter-intuitive to me, I know it is true. A truth that requires faith not fear. It requires waiting without any anesthesia on God's hand to move.
God isn't going to hang up my Christmas decorations. But if I don't pay attention to waiting, to being peaceful, to making peace, what am I celebrating anyway? It's just activity. Feeding my dependency on adrenaline. This morning, I am trying to be still. It will probably always be hard for me. My mind will race. I will reach for coffee to keep me moving so I don't have to trust. I will feel panic. I will let myself be fueled by panic. But this morning, I pause in trust that being still is the better way.