Seven weeks ago Jennie Allen asked a question on Instagram and I can’t quit thinking about it.
“Where are you in life right this moment?”
It wasn’t deep or incredibly profound, and yet I stared at the question and couldn’t find a simple answer. The end of October found me weary and worn thin, doing my best to finish the Three Little Words series well, complete the final edits for Even If Not, and be present with my people. My soul was tired and more than anything, I was certain He had called me to write the book and certain I would very much like to crawl in a corner and not write again for a good long while. I wanted to be obedient… and then be really quiet. Eventually I left this comment:
I’m learning to balance between hustling and hushing.
It’s Christmas and it’s Advent and there are cookies to bake, parties to attend, and letters to mail. There are songs to sing and trees to decorate and life doesn’t exactly, umm, slow down this time of year. When you add in all of the ‘regular’ stuff of daily life, our days are full and our schedules jam-packed.
I’m still right there, struggling to find the balance between hustling and hushing.
But Jesus came quietly, slipping into a little town in the world He made. He came in the night, in the dark, and suddenly there was Light among us. And yet the world was asleep and it woke the next morning to continue on with its frantic pace. Jesus broke the silence that lingered for 400 years by coming as a baby. He could have come as anything – a ruler, a doctor, an educator. And yet He chose to come to us and break the silence with the cry of a newborn.
Advent is the in between of remembering His coming and longing for His coming once more. Advent begs us to still, to hush, to quiet our souls and determine not to lose sight of the One who opened our eyes.
Christmas is beautiful and wonderful and magical and all those things, but it is also the season when we hustle and hurry and rush and maybe sometimes, if we’re honest, we forget to rejoice..
It’s Advent and it’s Christmas – we’re hushing and hustling and trying to find the balance between the two.
For nearly two months I’ve been thinking on these two words, attempting to figure out how to live in the space in between them. I’ve drafted this post in Alabama and in an airport in Florida and now I’ll hit “post” from my childhood bedroom. I’ve been hustling to get my first book (eeekkk!) to the printers and I’ve been pausing every afternoon to fill up on good words written by others.
It seems like we’re trying to force Christmas to be either/or – either hustling or hushing – but what if it’s meant to be a both/and. Jesus came into the chaos and the noise but in the midst of it all, He changed the world. He wasn’t loud and He never appeared to be in a hurry, but that never stopped Him from entering in and saying, Here I am, Emmanual. God with you.
We can’t pause life, not really. But we can purposely pause in every season to hush, to still, to advent.