For those unfamiliar with the Anglican tradition, the Church calendar is a circle, a cycle, and it has certain colors for every season. Naturally, there’s a lovely children’s song to teach the season and the meaning for each.
“Purple for preparation. White for celebration. Green is for the growing time. Red is for Pentecost!”
The four weeks of Advent precede Christmas and its twelve days. Advent is a time of preparing and waiting. In that time we ponder the Mystery, the Light, Mary, and the other lessons accompanying the season.
In one of my rare solitary moments, I considered what it is that I need to be prepared for, beyond the religious norm. What I discover, of course, is that my needs parallel with the lessons.
What needs to be done? What am I required to do as a member of society? I have to be counted. I have to pay taxes. I have to make sure the family is cared and provided for. My husband and I do this together, the day-to-day, part-of-society requisites. We have to follow the rules, even if it results in frustration from waiting in lines or finding businesses to be closed due to holiday hours. We try again. We do what has to be done.
What is needed of me? The children need a more compassionate mother (especially this morning). They need time and attention, which are hard to provide when one is tired and energy levels are low. Others need the same of me; truthfully, they deserve the same. Kindness. I need this of myself, too.
And what might be required from me in this life? Am I prepared to fulfill my purpose? I believe that if I’m still alive, I have work to do for the greater Good. I still don’t know what that work is, but I sense clues. Ultimately, every moment is an opportunity to change the world for the better. This is what makes me an optimist, I suppose. Take the complacency, anger, animosity, even hatred and replace it with awareness and compassion. It aligns nicely.
The advice given Mary and Joseph works for me, too. “Do not be afraid.” Do the work. Be present to, for, and with others and myself. Trust the Mystery and live the Magic. Goodness is here, in every moment, but I have to be prepared if I want to see it. I have to be prepared to experience it. I have to be prepared to be surprised, which ironically I am every time I experience true Grace, Light, and Love.
May we all be so blessed.