Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Someone mentioned to me today that we have 10 days until Christmas!! As my finals are ending and I realize I have made it through yet another semester (I'm still alive!) I think back on the last year and a half and how much I have grown, maybe not matured per say, but grown. Through the good, the bad, the ugly, the easy, the difficult, whatever life has thrown my way I've made it through and persevered. I think about this because on Monday last week I thought there was no way in the world I was going to make it through tomorrow (my last final!). I thought that over 30 pages worth of papers, 2 exams, and an oral presentation were too much for me to handle, too much to take on, and not enough time to do it all. Now it's not to say that I did not stay up late every night last week and type my fingers off along with studying for hours, however, I made it. Throughout the week I was constantly reminding myself that the things I encounter in this world are not bigger than the God I love and serve. Even though I had homework up to my ears, I was still able to serve my friends when they needed an ear to listen. Even though I thought I had to spend every moment working on school work, I was able to take time to just be, to take a break and enjoy things like music and scripture, church, and my personal favorite nerf guns. If there is one thing that stands out to me about the last couple of weeks it has to be that my focus and my love of this Advent season has grown, my longing for the coming of the Lord is stronger now than any longing for Santa Clause when I was younger. I catch myself longing to read about the birth of Christ, God made incarnate, longing to read from Isaiah about he child that is born to us: For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 I find myself humming Advent tunes and teaching myself the melodies on the piano in the middle of the night. I find myself talking about Christmas, and finding joy in this Advent season. In the midst of dead week and finals week I was able to see the light (although sometimes the light seemed pretty dim) and I was able to cling to the Advent hope that the things of this world hold no authority because all authority rests upon Christ's shoulders, the peace of mind that Christ is the only one in position to condemn me and Christ died for me (not my professors), the joy that the God who created the stars in the sky created me and as small as I am in this world I have the love of the Everlasting Father, that love that was born on Christmas morning. As I continue finishing up this semester and head "home" I will continue living in the season of Advent. Living in the hope, peace, joy, and love that surround me not only this time of the year but always. I go from this place thinking that I have been worn down and stressed out when in fact I have been lifted up to see how awesome this season of Advent really is. I leave having learned a lot of practical information and challenging myself to learn and apply new ideas and concepts, I leave knowing I have new friends to return to, a new church family that I love, a job that is AWESOME, and I leave knowing that this Christmas break is going to be one full of personal growth as well. I am preaching at a Festival of Young Preachers in January and it is going to be an experience of a lifetime! In February I am taking a trip to Princeton Theological Seminary, a road trip at that, and it is going to be another awesome experience. Life is going on, God has bigger plans that two weeks of stress and worry. God has things in store for my life that I am excited about, just as much as I'm excited about Christmas in 10 days! I pray that just as I have found a new and heart felt longing for Christmas, others too will find the joy and the hope in the coming of the King of Kings, the Alpha and the Omega...May we remember that our problems are temporary but God's grace and love are from everlasting to everlasting, and that is a reason to rejoice.