Advent is a time of preparation for some “NEW THING” that is bound to happen in this hopeful season of waiting. It is a time to be receptive, to be open to the possibilities of a new beginning. Every new beginning has yesterdays, a past, a history. How can one experience the “new” if the “old” is not known? I have found several activities meaningful in my preparation for the new thing promised, which is even now breaking forth from the bud.
|Young Life in Prague|
First, I read through my journal of the past year. As I read I realize how quickly the days passed and my yesterdays were born. I connect with the forgotten mood swings, the neglected and accepted opportunities, the light that brightened, and the shadows that darkened my path. Here I find the joys and the anxieties that lifted me up and brought me down. In my journal I discern a mysterious Spirit carrying me along. My heart and mind open wide to make space for what lies ahead.
|Mature Life in Prague|
Second, I sort through all the photographs of the year past, photographs depicting celebrations of birthdays and holidays, my children and their children, and the important events in their lives. I see photos of my friends and their families, reminding me of just how empty my world would be without them. I re-live the travel adventures of the year, the new people I met, the new sights I saw, and deep stirring of my gypsy soul as I walked where many of my “heroes” once walked. Out of the thousand or more photographs, I make a selection and these are placed on the two glass-covered coffee tables in our living room to remind me daily of the unspeakable joys I have known.
Third, I place candles in the windows of my home—and I’ve done this for nearly forty years now. As I place a candle in each window, I think of a person who has been instrumental in my journey—I call them Star Persons. I’m filled with gratitude as each candle is placed on the windowsill. These special people were the “stars” that lit my way and guided me. My gratitude overflows.
Knowing and connecting with the past, I am better able to be receptive and open to the new thing the future has to give.