There’s something about the countdown that heightens any celebration. Whether it’s in the last seconds before midnight on New Year’s Eve or the moments before a rocket leaves the launching pad, the countdown focuses our attention and builds our anticipation.
Advent calendars have long helped us to wait patiently for Christmas morning and rewarded our efforts with tiny treats behind paper doors. This year, though, I have greater expectations for marking off the days until Christmas than chocolate candy can satisfy.
I want to be still this Advent. Not abandoning the holiday like Scrooge or the Kranks, but living it fully, both in celebration with family and friends, and in anticipation and expectation before God. Not a blur of activity but an intentional journey of faith.
So the countdown will look different for me this year, as it has for the past two years. The 24 days on the Advent calendar will be the same. And I will still relish the bit of candy as I open each door. But for each day of December I will commit that many minutes in stillness before God.
On December 1st I will have one minute of silence, resting in God’s presence.
By December 5th the time will increase to five minutes for that day.
Until Christmas Eve brings the gift of 24 minutes of peace, hope, love and joy.
I have no idea what will happen in that stillness. Will God speak? Will the clock just tick loudly? It doesn’t really matter. Being still is not about what happens in those moments. It’s about grounding my life in God, not trying to squeeze God into mine. It’s about wanting to know God more and being willing to sit at his feet, even if he doesn’t say a word.
Do you want to create space in your life this Advent; to find a still center in the midst of the festive storm?
- Pick a time when you will practice stillness each day starting December 1st.
- Set you phone alarm to call you to it each day.
- Join me for the journey on Facebook.