Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Advent-ure: A Time for Hope

Can you believe it? December is here! Really? Already? Impossible! It seems like just yesterday I was writing a New Year's blog reminding all of us of the importance of valuing our TIME! And now... eleven months of TIME are in our rear view mirror. 

What did you do with yours?

I've been skimming my journal entries for the year. There's a fair amount of wasted TIME over the past eleven months, but for the most part, I'm not too unhappy with the way my TIME was spent this year. I've met a lot of wonderful people; formed some awesome new friendships; renewed some amazing old friendships that have made my life richer and more fulfilled; become more involved with an incredible church; gotten healthier--physically, emotionally and spiritually. I've knocked a couple of items off my bucket list.. but there are a lot more to go! There have been some disappointments, setbacks, and not all of my TIME yielded the results I would have liked... but today I was reminded that there is still TIME to live a life that is.. well... a life worth living!

Today is the first Sunday in the season of Advent. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. We light a candle on each of the four Sundays in Advent. Today, the candle was the candle of HOPE. But, 'hope' wasn't the main theme of the sermon. The message was on TIME. In addition to some awesome scriptures, the minister, Dr. Wesley Wachob,  used two quotes in his sermon that took my breath away. One was  from Henry Austin Dobson: "Time stays... we go."

Wow. That reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother this year. She told me that she views TIME in this way: 

There's a stage called "Life." The players enter stage right... move across the stage-- some more slowly, or more quickly, than others--- then exit stage left, even as new players are entering from the opposite side. The stage remains.. the players come and go. Dramas, comedies, tragedies are all played out. And the production goes on...until the end of TIME...whenever that may be.

I turned 55 this year. In years past, I've gotten a bit mopey over the turning of the calendar. Not anymore. When I hit 50, I decided to concentrate on what's still ahead, instead of all the years that are past. So, it's no wonder that the other quote from today's sermon caused my head to spin around a little.
"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." (Marcus Aurelius)

The sermon challenged me to consider what God would like for me to do with my TIME, but more than that, to consider what God wants to do with my TIME.  In this season of Advent, I choose to believe that God's plans for my future.. and yours.. and His... are filled with the people, the places and the purposes that will give us a life worth living. In short, as we move through this December Advent-ure, I believe God's plans for our future are filled with HOPE.