In many ways, I am a broken record. I learn something, go round again, forget or ignore the thing that I’ve learned, and have to re-learn all over again. It’s a tumbling cycle I frequently inhabit and experience.
I admire those who are more disciplined than I am. My discipline disintegrates very easily. Just yesterday I was pondering how easy it is for me to squeeze God out of my life. Not in simply acknowledging him, but in choosing actively to seek him, to encounter him. We seem to exist in a mindset where we fuel up, jump in and only pull over when the tank is completely empty and wonder why we’re making alarming noises.
So often my prayers are mere hiccups, rather than focused attempts to communicate meaningfully. My bible reading is as-and-when, trying do it quickly before the next thing comes along. I would never say it in words, but my actions whisper that perhaps I consider these things mere duties and chores to be ticked off a list. In reality, they sustain me and inspire me. I need them.
How can I expect to produce meaningful output when I neglect to grab hold of meaningful input? For a stream to flow, it needs a source and a goal. Otherwise all you get is a stagnant pool, and wonder why you don’t find it tremendously inspiring.
Today is Advent Sunday – the beginning of the church year. And Advent is a wonderful tool – introducing a new kind of cycle, putting aside the broken record and re-tuning into the depth and purpose we have been offered. A depth and purpose we frequently forget.
Perhaps you’re like me. Perhaps your days run away with you, buried in pointless worry or trivia.
Perhaps we could grasp this sense of beginning, immerse ourselves in the time of waiting and re-orientate ourselves. To change our habits, for so often the cycles we suffer from are habitual cycles. Following the star that beckons in our hearts, leading us towards a king who became a servant.
And then, with all our hearts, worship him.