Yesterday as I left work and began to brush the snow off my car, I found myself marveling at the shimmer coming from the flakes. It was only about 18 degrees (F) and it was what I refer to as sparkly snow. The kind of snow that stays light and fluffy and sparkles in so many places it looks magical. I looked on my coat and could see the perfectly shaped snow crystals still holding their individual beauty even once they had come to rest. The sun was setting and the gray sky had a faint touch of pink to it as the tiny sparkly snow fell to the ground. As I sat in my car waiting for it to warm up a tad before beginning the drive home, I felt such peace.
Our winters have much in common with the season of Advent. There is the excitement of the freshly fallen snow, sledding, making snowmen and snow angels. But, like Advent, it is also a time of waiting. Waiting for spring. For new plants to come to life, for warmer weather, for sunnier days.
Many times we wait through winter rather impatiently. We long for the days when you don’t need to bundle up just to get the mail. We whine and complain about shoveling, slippery roads, high heating bills, and the gray gloomy skies. We wait and we wait for spring!
But once spring arrives, it isn’t long before we begin to complain about the rain and yearn for the full warmth of summer. And once the summer is fully upon us? We complain about the heat and are desperate for fall! We are constantly waiting for the next season to come. And it is not only the weather that brings this out in us. In all aspects of our lives, we seem to be constantly looking forward to the “next thing.”
In high school and can’t wait to move out and go to college. In college we can’t wait to graduate and get a job. We “can’t wait” for marriage, then babies, then a house, more money, better cars, vacations, retirement…and on and on it goes.
The only thing that can keep us content as we wait through winter, through Advent, or through anything in life, is peace. The 2nd week of Advent focuses on peace. We need the peace of Christ in our lives. It is the only thing that gives us rest, that allows us to enjoy the moment rather than rush into what’s next. The peace of Christ allows our hearts to become still amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season or of any time in our lives. His peace enters into our hearts and quiets our thoughts. It opens our eyes to the glorious beauty and wonder around us and lets us soak in God’s goodness without worrying about what lies ahead.
As I look out at the snow, I feel at peace. The snow covered ground silences the noise as the perfect little flakes quietly come down to earth. The sparkling, glistening snow is so serene, so perfect. It is a beautiful visual of Christ’s peace in this hectic world we live in.
This Advent season, let us pray that the peace of Christ fill our hearts and souls so that we may be able to simply stop and wait, enjoy the moments we have and see God’s grace and beauty surrounding us.