In Advent we are encouraged to prepare for the coming of God and to explore and reflect on that time of preparation and waiting. Christian discipleship: is it something that can be bettered by trying harder, by holding on tighter, by gripping it as hard as we can?
That is like holding onto dry sand, as hard as we can. Holding on tighter, it runs out just as fast. Try to hold harder: it's still gone. Is failure guaranteed?
But there is a pleasure in letting dry sand run through our fingers. The cool particles run like a liquid across our skin. The weight shifts and rustles back down to the beach or sandpit. And there are more handfuls waiting to be picked up and let go, millions upon millions, a literally infinite repetition of taking up and gently running back the soft sand. The journey, the action, the practice of flowing sand is a delight.
Our Christian life and journey has that same flow, on so many levels. It flows over a lifetime, from birth, realization of who we are, maturity, death. Our spiritual life also flows across our life. It can also flow day by day, with a pattern of prayer, study, worship. A Christian community's life also flows: sometimes taking up the sand, growth, new ventures. Always letting it go: change, moving on, letting go. There is the same delight is seeing the flow and pattern of God's grace in individual or community life as we see in childlike playfulness and dry sand.
So my Advent thought today, as a pressured, busy church leader? Let go, relax, and enjoy the flow of the sand. Again and again and again.