Advent. A season of waiting.

Because it leads up to Christmas, Advent is a season of preparation. A season of waiting for the Light of the world to come into the world as a baby. A season of walking with the Light of the world toward the celebration of that baby’s birth. A season of anticipating the return of the Light of the world in all his glory.

But for now, we wait.

For some, it is a time to repent as a way to prepare the heart for the arrival of Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but I too often feel like one who is wandering through the desert along crooked paths, lost to the Light, lost to myself. And so, I look forward to the Season of Advent. The preparation. The anticipation. The hope. The wonder. The joy. The awe.

And yet, despite these amazing aspects of Advent, it is also a season of darkness. A season of seeking. A season of listening.

As I slow down, as I pause, as I listen, I can hear that voice in the wilderness. I can hear him calling to me, telling me, reminding me, beseeching me to prepare a way for the Lord. To make straight the paths in the dessert. And so I linger there, in the dessert, so that I may prepare my heart. So that I may step from the crooked path. So that I may step out of darkness.

But it is not yet time.

Right now, I welcome the darkness and await the light.

Right now, I will use this time to reflect on what it means that Christ came into the world.

Right now, I will repent and ask God to search my heart and point out anything that offends.

Right now, I will renew my heart and my mind in His truth.

Tomorrow begins the journey to Bethlehem and to the child born in a stable and laid in a manger. The child whose birth gave me life.

I don’t know where you are in your journey or in your life or in your relationships. But I know that I am hurting and I am walking through darkness. I know that I am wandering in the desert and I am waiting for the Star that will lead me to that babe whose life is what I need. Whose life my marriage needs.

And so, as Advent dawns tomorrow, and the journey to Christmas begins, I wonder if you might join me on the way to Bethlehem. If you might join me in responding to the voice calling out in the wilderness.

Because right now, my heart is overrun with too much of the world: unforgiveness, anger, worry, anxiety, deep hurts; there is no room in my heart for the Savior who is coming. Who is already here. Who is coming again.

But, this is a season of looking forward. This is a season for pressing on. This is a season of hope.

And so I will wait and I will seek and I will prepare.

Because although there may be darkness now, the pale light of dawn always pushes back the dark of night.

And that dawn is coming. Because that is the promise of Advent.

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