I’ve been working on an answer to Rob’s question about whether he’s a Christian or not. It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer — it’s personal, it affects a person, and I’m struggling with it. I’ve also had a trying day personally, so I have to put Rob’s question aside for the rest of today.
Instead, I offer you some thoughts from Roxy, with whom I traveled to Sri Lanka. She’s got some beautifully honest thoughts on not sleepwalking through Advent:
Advent is a time of vigilance, a time of recognizing how much all of life matters, a time (as Virginia Woolf might have put it) of recognizing that “behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern.”
Advent is not a time to sleep unaware.
The Nature of Our Days
“How are you doing?”
“Oh, good. How are you?”
“Good, good. What’s new?”
“Oh, not much. Just keeping busy.”
The human proclivity is neutral. You can see if it even in our interactions—a cultural refusal to admit to anything of purport. Busyness is the best we can come up with—an acceptable (even admirable) state of being. And all the while the world goes by and life goes on under a haze of numbing productivity.
“Life is short. It goes fast. One day you’ll wake up and be 65 and wonder where all the time went.” While this may sound familiar, it isn’t inevitable. Years don’t have to fly by without us noticing. We don’t have to be asleep to the significance of every day. Because it’s there. The days do matter—our actions, interactions, relationships, decisions and observations matter, and they matter a lot.
“Be careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
But Christianity isn’t the only place you’ll find this theme. Most of the religions—particularly among the mystic traditions—cry out for people to wake up and be conscious. Even the shadows in Plato’s cave are a call to turn and see reality as it is— not to settle for spectral imitations.
Read the rest Awake, Awake, O Sleeper! « roxy composed.