The Beauty of Advent
We've made a family tradition out of trying to get the house decorated for Christmas at the beginning of Advent. I love this season and shooting for the start of Advent means we get to enjoy the soft glow of the tree lights for the entire season.
Friday I had a few precious hours to start pulling the decorations out of the attic to begin the process. I managed to get most of them down the stairs by the time I had to leave for the next event. Unfortunately, I was mid-project...meaning the house looked like it had imploded.
It went from the spic and span after Thanksgiving house, to a veritable maze of boxes, lights, and garlands. Needles were strewn from one end of the house to the other. Bubble wrap littered the dinning room. Piles of boxes were stacked in the family room and kitchen (dude, I have a ton of Christmas decor and I love every stinking bit of it).
When we got back home from the events of the night, I plopped down on the couch to relax and I just couldn't. I'm crazy like that about messes. It totally messes with my mo-jo. But as I was feeling a bit depressed about the current disaster, I heard God speak to me.
He reminded me that life is a bit like my house. Sometimes, in order to achieve beauty, you have to make a mess.
I thought about this as I headed off to the quiet (and clean) sanctuary of my bedroom. It didn't take long for me to get God's message. Relationships with people are messy. When you hurt someone and need to ask forgiveness, it's because you've managed to make a mess of things. Even worse is when someone hurts you and you have to tell them in order to move on. Messy. Sometimes life gets busy and stuff piles up because you can't find the time to deal with it. Yep, messy.
When you finally find the time, courage, and/or strength to deal with your stuff, beauty ensues. When you forgive someone, the dirt is wiped away. When you ask for forgiveness, the light finds a way out. When you deal with your stuff, you get a clean slate. Light, new beginnings and clean slates are all beautiful things. It is often these things of beauty that we appreciate so much more because we know first hand the mess from which they originated.
So tomorrow I will haul the last of the empty boxes back to the attic. I will sweep up the glitter and vacuum the needles. And I will sit on my couch and bask in the glow of my tree. I will drink in the beauty that surrounds me and thank God for it.
May your Advent be filled with beauty, and may you not have to make too many messes to achieve it.