I have recently entered into a whole new world I never knew existed. I like to call it a “real job.”
As a minister, my schedule was always in flux and I pretty much had total control over it. So if I needed to rest, I rested and made up for it later. If I wanted to spend the afternoon locked away reading or in prayer, I did. I spent a lot of time eating lunch with people as part of my job. I had an eight minute drive to work. I had never sat in traffic.
This has all changed.
I work 8-5. I get 1 hour for lunch. I sit in traffic every day (and smoke spews out of my ears). If I am tired, I get over it. If I need to do an errand, I have one window. If I want to eat lunch, I have the same window. I have no control over my schedule.
I call this a “real job” because I know this is where most people (and I assume most of you) live. You may have never known anything different. But for me it was quite disorienting. It has made me re-invent how I relate to God. But I have realized this is where most of us live out our spirituality.
If we are going to find Jesus, we find him in the traffic.
About October, all the new changes, the new questions, school three nights a week and this radical shift in who owns my time began to take its toll. I was tired, exhausted and missing my friend Jesus. But in October, I began to see the relief lying ahead.
I knew Advent was coming.
I knew for Advent I was going to have to shift how I used the time that was my own. I knew I was going to have to make room for God (an Advent theme!). I knew I was going to have very specific things to think about and ways God was going to speak to me. I also knew the blogs and the podcasts I listen to would be focused on this same things.
Not only does the season dial me in to a more intense and focused way of listening to God, it connects me with thousands of other Christians listening in the same way.
So as the season progressed, the things God was saying helped me makes sense of the chaos and craziness that is my life. It provided a margin.
The Liturgical Calendar helps us get caught up in a bigger story – a story much bigger than the one I am living. It has been going on long before me and will continue long after I am gone. The Liturgical Calendar asks me to root my story in the bigger one at work. It asks me to stop focusing on my tiny story and to orient myself around THE Story.
On Monday I mentioned that this was a dangerous practice. It is dangerous because it requires something of you. Getting caught up in this Story and allowing your year to be determined by something greater will ask a lot of you.
But it does it in a way where you couldn’t envision doing anything else.
It creates the margin we need to center ourselves in God and hear the gentle whisper of Jesus amidst all the other noises in life.
That is what I want more of. That is why we want to take this journey. It no longer seems enough to do it twice a year. We think it needs to become a rhythm we experience every day.
We hope you’ll join us.