Our choir sang at 5:00 mass yesterday evening, so all of the family who were in town for "house work" went to that mass. Because of this I got out the Advent wreath and we lit the first candle last night at dinner. As a decoration, it looks a little forlorn in the middle of a kitchen where the bulletin board of pictures has been taken down, the cookbooks have been packed away -- because I'm not doing any cooking I can't do from memory until after the move -- and the walls are getting grubby because they're just going to be knocked down in a month or so anyway.
But as a symbol, I'm finding it movingly inspirational. We are moving forward, we are looking forward, and and when the time it symbolizes is fulfilled, something wonderful will have happened! As I was mulling over what I wanted to say in this post, I happened to think about Mary, who in the year we are commemorating was eight months pregnant* and about to set out on a long trip on donkey-back. I can picture me in that situation, having the same thoughts I'm having now: "I can't do this." "It's too hard." "It will never work out the way I want it to."
Since Mary was far more in tune with God's will than I'll ever be, I don't dare picture her giving in to the temptations inherent in these thoughts. She knew that she was living in/obeying the Father's perfect will, so despair or mental paralysis was not even an option. But I'm pretty sure there were mornings when the thought of heaving herself back onto that donkey required conscious submission and acceptance! So I'm going to strive to let the Advent wreath remind me to surrender my irritations and impatiences, so that I can eventually arrive at the joy of Christmas.
* Elisa and Christy, I'm thinking about you! [Two of Arwen's HS friends are expecting their first babies ANY DAY!]