Did you ever watch a four-year-old ponder
going down a big slide for the first time?
She clambers up stairs to the top
and hesitates when she looks down to see how steep it is. She wants to slide down but hangs back warily with furrowed brow. It’s not abject fear she’s
feeling but a delicious anticipation of doing some daring deed she’s never
From the top she looks
down unsure about the drop. Then comes the moment when, with some trepidation, she
makes a leap of faith and slides all the way down the “S” curve into her mom’s
Laughing with a sense of relief and delight, she wants to do it
again and again and again to proudly show off her mastery of the thing.
the three princes from the East followed a star into the unknown, no doubt it
was an exciting but also a daunting adventure full of hardships.
Eliot’s Ariel poem Journey of the Magi” the old wise man, now in his 70’s, recalls how difficult that trek was, but in
the end he says, “Set down this. Set down this. I would do it again.”
Both the four-year-old and the three wise men had to make a leap of faith to overcome their
apprehension and go through with their do-or-die decision, never certain that
what they were doing was satisfying or worthwhile until long after they had
committed themselves to face the unknown.
is like that. It is a period of our contemplating something mysterious. Advent is a gift of anxious anticipation that
something wonderful is going to happen.
Anticipation is born of hope. Indeed it
is hope's finest expression. And if we could just lay aside our fears, swallow
our hesitations, take a leap of faith and place our hope and confidence in
Jesus, he will be waiting for us at the bottom of the slide and at the end of
our star trek with open loving arms.
All we have to do is believe we can do it.
This Advent, let’s trust what we don’t understand and accept the mystery of God
becoming a man.
If we can do this, our lives will be forever changed.