I have this great little sleep app. I never thought I’d be the kind of person to ever own such gadgets (I laughed at those growing up who had “ocean machines” to help them sleep), but I am really thankful for it. It has nature sounds and light music that start off somewhat up beat and then gradually they become mellower and slower. All night it plays, gently. When it’s time to wake up, or about five minutes before, the music becomes a little louder, a little faster. Chirping birds begin to make their appearance as the music gradually becomes more upbeat. Usually it takes about 10 seconds or so for me to wake up once the app makes this transition, but it is so much nicer to wake up to chirping birds than the “EEH, EEH, EEH, EEH, EEH, EEH, EEH,” blaring in my ear like a normal alarm. I guess I’ve turned into one of those people I used to mock. At least sort of.
The app, or more like sleeping and the night, resets my internal clock, realigns me with the stillness of night and the on coming day and reinstates my daily routine. It puts everything back in sync which I’m thankful for. It also gives our hearts and minds a break from whatever chaos may have been the day before. We may still be angry with whatever happened a day prior, but we’ve been able to step back from the midst of it and gain some perspective (which is simply a way of saying that we are able to more clearly see our perspective and hopefully begin to see the situation from the “others” perspective). In a way, that’s what the seasons do. Calendars are simply a way of marking specific days, but the seasons and change of them, do the same thing a night does.
Spring is the dawn of a new day. Summer is the heat of the afternoon. Autumn is the coolness of the evening sunset, and Winter is the dark, sleeping of night. God seemed to have thought of everything (I say with a smirk), but it’s true. The Hebrews recognized these seasons and the Early Church also recognized them bringing in the Messiah’s arrival, life and sacrifice and resurrection.
Now, we are at the beginning of Advent. There are really only five major sections of time in a year-Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time. These seasons, blocks of time, are meant to do for our soul, just what a good night’s sleep does for our physical bodies. Renews our understanding of Christ, refreshes our weary minds and hearts from life, resets our routines, realigns ourselves with Him and reestablishes God’s leading in our lives. Of course, I could go on and on with “re-” words, but let’s just stick with those for now.
I’m not saying that we need some major overhaul of our traditions and daily rhythms for this season (unless of course you do need to). But simply taking time to acknowledge this season we’re coming upon, Who it is that was born and why He was born, and the earth moving impact His birth had/has. It really is not just holy ground, but holy time. Moses took off his sandals when he was in the presence of God in the burning bush because he realized he was not worthy of even the ground he was standing on. Yet God chose him. And here we are, immersed in a time that is set apart for recognizing Him as the chosen one to come in the form of a baby.
As much as I desire to do nothing but listen to Christmas music, bake all kinds of Christmas goodies and watch Christmas movies, it seems that this time of year is insanely busy. Christmas programs, parties, get-togethers, special services, gift shopping, traveling…whew, the list is endless. But I’m fairly confident that God did not intend for life to be a life of busyness…especially during those special set aside times of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter.
As Moses removed his sandals, I wonder what God is inviting me to remove during this holy time. What might He be inviting you to remove during this holy time? Not that we have to. But what might be waiting for us if we did? What special gifts are awaiting us if we pause and recognize this time as a holy time? Perhaps, it’s a question worth pondering as we head into Advent this year. I’d love to hear your answers…..
be blessed today
Photo Credit: The BBC