Powdered Hazelnut creamer. There was a time when powdered hazelnut creamer, unexpectedly discovered on the shelf of randomness at the Indian-run supermarket, literally elicited a squeal from my mouth. And it motivated my arm to sweep every one of them from the shelf into my basket, and then to text every expat I knew to share the great news. I had found something really special.
And yet today, I walk past an aisle stocked with dozens of flavors of coffee creamers without even slowing down.
“Special” is a response to longing. Longing, Anticipation, Expectation. Even just saying those words together makes my heart speed up.
Sometimes we can miss the special things. We are distracted by what it takes to get from sunrise to sunset, and we forget to sit with the “special”.
I was listening to something recently that made my heart feel like it weighed 50 pounds. It said as we get older, we spend less time with our parents, siblings, people that we literally spent every waking moment with for the first couple of decades of our lives. For many of us, what used to be everyday has turned into, once…twice a year…maybe? They said, “Sit back and calculate your parent’s age, with the average lifespan of around 80 years old. If you are a ‘one time a year’ person, can you count with one set of hands the amount of times you will see your parents in this life?” That single statement wrecked me. I may not be able to change the number of times I see the people I love, but I can sure begin to long for those times and not miss how special they are.
For many, the time of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas, can get lost in the shuffle of the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. The runway of longing, anticipation, expectation seems to culminate in what is hidden under the tree.
In our Advent reading for this week in Shadow and Light, we are reminded that Mary was no doubt longing for something more. Some stability to her world that was being flipped upside down. As fear gripped her with the realization of what was being asked of her, God didn’t offer to stop the disruption, but he reassured her that the power of the most high would overshadow her.
“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Mosh High will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35 (NLT)
Some of you reading this are in a season where the sun is literally overshadowed for most of the day. The precious hours of daylight are so short you may never be outside while it shines. The power of a shadow is definitely noticed in the sun’s absence. I can only imagine how much more powerful it would be to have the power of the Most High overshadow me. His power and will and righteousness and justice would be so overwhelming that the only option would be to look at that about everything else!
If we were to take a moment and realize that after all of the wrapping paper and mystery is gone, we are still anticipating…longing for something. For a gift that was promised. Because just as many in the past longed for the promised Savior, we long for him to come again. We long for creation to be made new. This time of Advent asks us to sit with the special. Don’t walk away from the expectation for things to be restored. Let your heart speed up as you dream of the day when the whole world is overshadowed by his power.
Join us in slowing down. Walk slowly with us through the season as we let advent build the expectation of Christmas, and the longed-for Savior who truly is “special”.
What does the word ‘expectation’ stir up in you?