I couldn’t sleep the other night. I went to bed late and I woke up early. My head was too full. Some things weren’t going well, some things weren’t getting done, people I know were having troubles…just stuff filling up my brain. I decided to get up and go for a run. I thought if I could have a little time to myself to think through all the thoughts, I would feel peace again.
That didn’t happen. The more I got into my head about all these issues, the worse I felt. As I ran, I could feel myself getting more and more tense. Why wasn’t this working? I started to pray about it, when suddenly I looked up. The sky was full of the brightest stars. There were no clouds, just black night and pinpoints of clear light. It dawned on me that I wouldn’t see the stars if not for the darkness. That’s actually something Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” I finally felt peace.
I was too caught up in myself. It wasn’t until I stopped and looked beyond myself and my head full of thoughts that I could experience a stillness. There can be such beauty in darkness. When things aren’t going well, it is then that strength is found. It is then that people reach out to one another in support. It is then that we find out who we truly are. The stars shine out through the darkness. It is so comforting.
Maybe that’s what Advent is. Yes there’s waiting, but it is with expectation. There is darkness, but the light of Christ shines through it. I can have a head full of thoughts, but I can also take time to stop. Just be still. Hit the pause button. That’s when I (we) will know God was with us all along, waiting -in expectation – for us…to see God through the pinpoints in the darkness.
Have a hope-filled Advent.