One of the constant sounds here on Long Island since “Superstorm Sandy” is the sound of chainsaws. The sound is so constant that the hum of the chainsaws has almost become white noise…almost. The noise is not quite soothing enough to truly be white noise. Instead it is a humming reminder of all the work still left to be done here. As we slowly try to clear the property around our homes and businesses, the work seems endless. Piles of stacked wood along the roads demonstrate signs of progress, but there are still roads that are occasionally closed as work crews continue clearing what looks like a dropped box of toothpicks.
I wonder if that constant hum might be our Advent theme song this year. We too need to clear out the debris of our lives that keeps us from connecting to God. This past Sunday, John the Baptist called us to “Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!” (New Living Translation) Our Advent time of preparation can be a time of clearing out what is keeping us away from God. Whether our debris is the rapid pace of life, the to-do list (that conveniently does not include prayer), or our own self-centeredness, we all have debris that blocks our path to God.
Clearing debris is not easy work, and does not come naturally. In fact, our more natural state is to keep the debris in place so as to avoid true intimacy with God. That is why an Advent theme song is helpful. We need the din of humming chainsaws to pull us back into the work of clearing debris. Or perhaps you prefer an actual hymn as your theme song. Personally, I love Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Or maybe your Advent calendar or devotions are your theme song this year. Whatever brings you back to the work of clearing debris, working your way closer to a deeper relationship with God is what might make this Advent sacred for you. Crank up the music, and continue to enjoy a blessed Advent!