advent, anyway

My Aldi Cheese Advent Calendar doesn’t start until December 1st, but here it is Advent already, anyway. For the past few years, I’ve written every day during Advent here in this space. I wasn’t sure I could muster the wherewithal to do it again this year. I’m not ready for the season. It’s 70 degrees here in North Carolina today, a Thanksgiving cold has turned me into a pitiful sack of snot, and it has been a hard year. I don’t want to decorate, I’ve barely thought about gifts, and I’m struggling to get in the appropriate Advent headspace for worship planning and church leading. I am burnt out. I know I am not the only one.

Lately, I have felt like doom, despair and misery are choking out all the good stuff. Maybe I’m a little depressed, or maybe the world is actually not such a great place at the moment. Maybe it’s both. In the last several weeks, I’ve been in multiple conversations with older folks who said, in no uncertain terms, that there is a certain relief in knowing that they will not have to live long enough to see the inevitable consequences of our current collective choices. I’ve also been praying for too many younger people whose friends and peers are choosing to end their own lives – or those of others – rather than continue enduring the pain of living in this world.

I am neither old nor young. I turned 40 this year, so I don’t have the luxury of knowing that I’ll exit this world before climate change renders it uninhabitable or virulent politics make it even more inhumane than it already is. But I am also old enough to know that things do, as they say, get better, that how I feel today is not how I will feel forever, that no pain is eternal. I am a little annoyed at the older people for their relief at impending exit and I am a lot heartbroken for the young people who chose theirs prematurely. I am here, in the middle, forced to reckon with how to live in the mess.

So, I think this Advent I will write each day about a thing I have witnessed or experienced or encountered that gives me hope. Not ephemeral, generic, free-floating “hope,” but grounded and gritty, real people doing real work that has real power. I am out of practice, in both writing and hoping. We’ll see how it goes.

If all else fails, there’ll still be cheese.

One comment

  1. Zeke · November 28

    Looking forward to finding joy❤️❤️‍🩹🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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