On this date last year, a friend sent me an email with this wish: “I hope you’re getting some time to relax and breathe this week.” When I read her words, I realized that I had not taken time to do so yet. I stopped and rediscovered what it felt like to take a deep breath, to give my lungs space in my body. We all need people in our lives who help us prepare for what comes next—sometimes that preparation involves rest.
Mark’s Gospel begins with the word that Jesus, too, had someone to help prepare his way.
Every year, the busy month between Thanksgiving and Christmas passes so quickly that we can spend the entire four weeks in a haze. Sometimes we act like we’re on autopilot, letting our overscheduled Google calendars dictate our every move. Once the parties are over, the Christ child has been welcomed with candlelight and carols, and Santa has delivered the gifts, what do we do then? This week between Christmas and New Year’s Day may feel a little like the Twilight Zone.
It’s refreshing to read this familiar story and remember that God is always moving ahead of us, making a way for whatever God invites us to try next. When we feel a little lost or a little let down from the sudden drop in activity, when our adrenaline stops pumping at full speed, remember that God is preparing our next adventure.
We must remember to stop, rest, and give our lungs some space in our bodies. Give thanks for God’s presence that always waits for us to begin again.
Take a moment to be still and silently reflect on God’s presence that surrounds you. In what ways do you see God’s handiwork in the creation of this day, preparing this time for you right here and now?
God, how humbling it is to realize that you go ahead of us, preparing us for what comes next. Help us take this moment you offer to ready ourselves for what is to come. Amen.