Advent: Peace in Frenzy

I was supposed to write a blog about peace for my second advent reflection. The only problem was that I “planned” to write it while at the airport waiting to board a flight. Sure, that’s doable.

But I left the house a tee tad late. And then the first gas pump we tried didn’t work. Include also a slow-moving rental car return agent and being momentarily turned around looking for the shuttle. No set-back was very long or very dramatic, but they added up exponentially. (I suspect it has something to do with compound interest.)

Suddenly, it’s seventy-five minutes before my international flight takes off, and I’m not even inside the airport to check-in. They say the cut-off is sixty minutes.

I race to the counter. I am literally the only person checking in. It’s an empty room. The attendant chastises me for being too late. She insinuates that I may not have made it in time… particularly to check my bag.

By the hair of my chinny, chin chin I pass her my luggage, lavish my thanks, and scurry to security. Naturally, I am behind people who do not know to take out their laptops, or to take off their jackets… or to put their luggage on the conveyor belt. They do not speak English so the entire exchange is lengthy and confusing.

I rush to the gate just as boarding begins. I say a silent prayer that my luggage actually made it under the plane.

And then I momentarily lamented that I never had a second of peace to write down anything about peace. And I thought about that conundrum.

Isn’t that what the holiday season is like for many of us? Being a bit late… Choosing the wrong gas pump… Being behind the person who doesn’t know your laptop goes through security in a separate bin?

And in the midst of it all we nearly miss the very reason we were doing all this rushing around in the first place!

I am reminded that I must make space for peace this Christmas. But that is so often easier said than done because all those tasks… shopping, addressing cards, baking, decorating… still need to be completed. At least we think they do.

My guess is that two important changes – preparation and prioritization - would’ve reduced my blood pressure catching that flight! Being ready a bit earlier… leaving a cushion for the unexpected. And simply eliminating a couple of activities that were not as important as the main event. Could these practices benefit our Christmas madness as well?

So I pray for all of us slivers of peaceful moments this Christmas. And I am interested to hear from you how to you carve out time for calm reflection on the whole reason we are celebrating in the first place.

I am also struck by the truth that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and entered into a chaotic world. Which, for me, begs the question, of when you’ve prepared and prioritized all you can to create spaces for peace… and bedlam reigns anyway… how do you witness the Prince of Peace break in through the noise?

Next Advent post: Joy.

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