We have affectionately been referring to this Sabbatical time in our lives as our faith-filled-adventure. It is important to Karen and I to intentionally create moments during this season that both stretch our faith and feel adventurous for us. While some days this adventure feels like it should be moving to a beach in Costa Rica to sell Coconuts with our family, other days it is more than enough to choose to walk the kids to school instead of driving.
In this week leading into Christmas, the blog will focus on three ideas from Advent (what is Advent?) and how they have shaped my journey over the last few years.
Hope, Peace, and Joy
There is also love...but let's just say that one shows up everywhere, yea?
Hope is like a balloon,
we blow it up more and more and more and more, with each breath the tension grows a little greater with expectation, more and more and more. We hope for better lives, better jobs, good schools, a great marriage, safe lives for our kids, we hope for crime to stop and violence to disappear, we hope for something better - another way. Then,
Something comes along and destroys that hope in an instant.
A horrific mass murder, gross mis-conduct against other humans, a presidential candidate making childish claims and promises, a friend caught in a cycle of depression, another divorce, another diagnoses, another failed idea, another, another, another...
Just like that, POP, we have less hope.
Some of us even become hopeless.
But the way of Jesus does something to me. (Even as I write that, my body positioning shifted because I began to get excited).
The way of Jesus can change so much of those things that pop our balloons.
The way of Jesus is not an escalator leading to heaven to escape from this pain but a way to enter into the pain of this world and offer another way completely.
My hope is in Jesus, that he is the way to salvation from all our brokenness and will shine light on all the darkest areas of our lives.
My hope is in the people of this world recognizing there is something much more valuable to them than their immediate feelings and desire for satisfaction.
My hope is that each person sees themselves as God sees them, and inevitably realizes that God sees others (even their enemies) the same way!
My hope, this Advent season, is that we see Christmas as a moment when God did offer a way to put an end to much of the pain we face in this world.
My hope is that we learn what it means to live like Jesus did: To love each person always, to have compassion and act upon it, to stand up to violence with peace (not weapons), to teach against gaining power and money and control and Empire, to celebrate with each other around a table and to die to self so we may live for the sake of others.
This Adventure for us began when we asked the question, "what would it look like for us to truly follow in the way of Jesus?" And this is where we are. With still a long way to go, we hope for great days of faith-filled adventure ahead!