Celebrating Advent is a little counterintuitive for millennials, in my opinion. For a generation who prefers quick fixes and instant gratification, the concept of waiting and hoping for something unseen seems unproductive or even wasteful. Why wait when you could probably come up with a solution to the same problem faster? Yet maybe this season is a time for everyone, especially millennials, to learn to appreciate the waiting, to lean in, and to expect.
This is the second year I've ordered the She Reads Truth Advent study (you can still jump in online, here) and I'm enjoying the opportunity to read along with thousands of other women and prepare for the coming of Christmas and the birth Jesus. There's something about doing this collectively - knowing there are other women taking the same space to pause, reflect, rest, and study, each in our own context and home. Regardless of what you believe about Christmas, Advent represents a time to be thankful and reflective together in anticipation of Christmas and the new year.
If you pause to think about this for a moment, this may be the only time of year thousands, if not millions, of people around the world are all waiting for something - the same thing, and a miracle nonetheless. I pray this sacred tradition is not lost on my generation; in fact, I think we desperately need it.
Join me in taking time to wait, lean in, and anticipate this month, especially if you are a millennial. Intentionally put down the iPhone, TV remote, iPad or computer. Think about what Christmas means to you and your family. Do you celebrate the birth of Jesus? If so, ask God to give you a deeper understanding of the miracle of His birth. Spend time reading the Christmas story in Scripture. Start each morning in gratitude, listing all the blessings and good moments from the past year. Think ahead to the next year - what are some of your hopes and dreams for 2017?
By intentionally creating this space, we are, by definition, anticipating the arrival of something. It allows time to quiet our minds and souls, preparing them for what is to come. This is much easier said than done in our fast, instant, and productive culture. Perhaps this speaks to the truth that good things are worth waiting for. Nothing is created overnight, contrary to the message technology teaches.
And in the end, the waiting makes the arrival so much more meaningful. Pause to anticipate this year. Lean in and believe for the best because Good is coming (at least that's what I keep telling my oft-weary heart).