Advent, treading the path

Last night there was one candle lit in our wreath of four Advent candles. That single act of lighting only one, waiting to light the rest, slowed me down enough to really savor good conversation with my family. And it made me ponder, why do we wander away from this, and how do we keep going in this direction?

The world has a way of catching attention and pointing people in a direction. It’s loud and flashy and somewhat sassy. And it doesn’t slow me down enough to savor anything.

I’m learning a quiet, more trusted way – treading the path. A good path doesn’t need neon signs in order to be noticed. It doesn’t need to be an urgently catchy headline in all caps in order to convince. The path just needs to be used. Every day. All day. The more we walk it, the more familiar it becomes; the longer and more clearly the trodden path will be there for others to find when they are also seeking the way.

What is really interesting to me is that quiet and slow doesn’t have to mean boring or inactive. There is nothing boring about being focused. There is nothing inactive about consistently treading a path, ensuring no weeds spring up.

Consider this advice from Mother Mary Francis.

“We say to our Lord in this First Week of Advent, ‘Show me Your ways, teach me Your paths.’ This doesn’t mean to point them out as to a tourist, who might say, ‘Isn’t that lovely?’ but to show me Your ways that I might walk on them, and teach me Your paths that I might follow them. This is the itinerary for Advent. Don’t sit at the window and rock and wait for the Redeemer to come. Walk down these ways, and follow these paths. It is a time of action.”

Come, Lord Jesus – Meditations on the Art of Waiting

Light that one candle.

Focus in on the quiet light of truth.

Carry it down the path of holiness every single day, each step trampling the weeds, preparing you to meet the coming Savior.

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