Advent invites us into the continual now of God’s presence

manger-nativity-pj

 

We sit with great expectations in this season—usually driven more by insistence from the media than by us fully reverencing the manger. Rarely are they met. More often than not, we emerge out the other side of Advent as a weary wreck. Maybe there’s a way to do things differently? 

As I rested upstairs, had a needful break to recharge this afternoon, breathed out slow and sat with the Lord for a while, these poetic thoughts emerged…

Advent invites us…

Advent invites us to savour the now, ever-present sense of God’s presence in this world, invisible yet still tangible somehow.

It reminds us of the manger being but a step to the cross, a way of remembering all that Jesus bought for us at such a great cost.

We’re invited to linger and marvel at Love come down. We’re welcomed to a stable, a baby fit for a shiny Royal crown.

Here, in swaddling clothes, manger-wrapped and ready for us to receive Him is a Gift to accept and unwrap the promises hidden deep within.

And the Advent now also suggests tension and stress, cards to write and send, folk to invite, parcelling of presents, our own gifts to share with family and friends.

There’s a drive to have the right kind of offering, forgetting how our love and our presence are always the best thing.

In all the rush and hurry, haste and paste, decorating and baking, we can lose sight of that starry night in Bethlehem. We can neglect to make space in the here and now for the One who this celebration is really about.

I’m guilty as charged, knowing I need to heed those soft whispers nudging my spirit more than before, because I’m in danger of forgetting my Saviour in the drive to do one thing more before collapsing with fatigue.

But when we stop, take a breath, a sacred pause? Why, we find God is here, in the moment, of course. Always patiently waiting for our attention, He reaches out across time and eternity to welcome us into the Now of His glorious presence.

There is peace here. There is calm. There is deep soul rest. We receive not only what’s better but what is best. We can ignore the clamour, the hassle, the shout, become replenished, renewed from the inside out.

Here is a whisper, a breath, an eternal song being sung, a melody being heard and received, a lullaby for our restless souls. And here we belong. No pressure, no pleading, just a realisation that this is what we truly need now—during Advent, Christmas and beyond.

©joylenton2016

I thought I was too tired to think straight, never mind write today, however God whispered these thoughts which enabled me to join in with this week’s five-minute-friday prompt of ‘Now’.  Come meet the writing crew gathering at Kate Motaung’s site, and check out the great posts being shared. Just click here to follow me there.

advent-invites-us-poem

Forgetting and remembering

Evening rails

In taking a step back we often see the way to move forward.

Perspective and hindsight combine to reveal what lay concealed.

Sitting too close to something can make it overly familiar, a thing of dependency and routine.

And we forget what lies on the other side.

So it was for me with social media a few weeks ago. I became burnt-out, exhausted and yet afraid to loose the hold.

It took time (and increasing health and life challenges) to make me see that in desiring to be in the thick of things I was missing the most important thing of all ~ time to simply ‘be’.

In the drawing back I gradually regained a sense of the ‘normality’ that used to be there for me when I wasn’t so caught up in the being out there, heard and seen aspects of life.

It began with restlessness, then as I relaxed more there was profound fatigue and deep bone weariness to contend with, as if I was finally giving my body permission to let go instead of running on continual adrenaline.

Then the silence was filled with a greater measure of hearing from God as He held me in my weakness and pain, helping me see my worth and value are nothing to do with my productivity or the lack thereof.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, being ‘busy’ for me looks like another person’s chilling-out time; but it was a huge change for me to stop those activities and drop all concern about blogging and having some kind of online presence.

Freed from all expectations or demands, writing became pure joy. Poetry and prayer whispers proliferated. Snippets sank into my mind when I was resting, and God encouraged me to release it all to Him without worry or fear.

And I discovered that it’s only in the letting go of all we hold tight to that we are free to fully enjoy it in the way God intends us to.

So I have been delving deeper into His word, praying longer, reading more books and poetry than before, spending quality time with loved ones and ‘in real life’ friends, and realising how shallow my life had become.

Now I want to remember what it’s like to touch reality rather than living a large part of my life in a ‘virtual’ world.

I want to remember how God’s opinion of me is the only one that really matters and I write primarily for an audience of One.

And I want to continue to forget about people-approval issues, performance, perfectionism or pressure, and just concentrate on resting in God’s Presence where I am already beloved, accepted and pre-approved ~ just as I am.

‘Forgetting’

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to lose myself completely

within pages of a book

where time ceases to exist

and eyes are deeply fixed

on drinking in the words

upon which my soul is hooked

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to pray with no clock-watching

allowing time to listen

wait patient for God to speak

within this hour, day and week

seeking nothing more or less

than drawing closer to Him

I’d forgotten what it’s like

to heed Holy Spirit’s voice

so close in the minutiae

or to savour the rhythmic flow

as each moment comes and goes

and He whispers soft and low

to inform and guide my day

©JoyLenton2014

Gift and grace as social media and blogging are to me, it has been good to learn there is life beyond the laptop.

You can read more about how this experience has affected me in this post on ‘Words of Joy’.

How about you? Have you considered unplugging or experienced relief from doing so, even for a short while?

Feel free to share your story in the comments below.

Linking here with Beth, Holley and Jennifer. You are very welcome to join in. 

book reader ~ Forgetting  poem PJ file image pin