“ A voice of one crying out in the desert. ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Luke 3:4
Waiting is never easy. And yet, that is what Advent is all about. Waiting for something bigger, something greater than ourselves. While many people spend their Advent unfocused and restless, God is inviting us to something deeper, something more meaningful. He uses the season of Advent to invite us to something new.
To focus on the coming of the Christ child, we must first align ourselves with the meaning of the season. This is the waiting, the wanting. And with this waiting and wanting comes the desire for God to change us into something new, a version of ourselves that is more Christ-like. While the lights and tinsel can manifest the beauty of the season, the inner work to get to Christ is deep and hidden as John the Baptist recognized while still in his mother’s womb.
In the waiting, we can create a spiritual convent around ourselves, a divine protective barrier that forces us to come face to face with the coming of the Christ child. Are we looking for our own will or for His? It is during the wait that we aim to change, to become our best in the Kingdom of God, to undergo a deep and profound refinement and conversion of heart, mind, and soul. The more we focus on the Christ child, the more we see the impurities in our souls and give those over to Him to make them holy.
To prepare the way, to make straight the path, leads us to our best and highest selves. We must get rid of the things in our lives that are not the best for us. This is different than the discernment of good and bad. This involves much more time in prayer, contemplation, and thought. This involves spending time with God to truly know the best, the highest things that bring Him the greatest glory.
What can we do to discern these best things? We can ask the Holy Spirit what is best for us. What is the best of the best? We can lay ourselves before God with a holy openness to His will, carrying our pregnant hearts to the end of Advent and delivering on His will for us. This is what Advent is all about, refinement, follow-through, and the promise of His holy joy in the end.
We must stick with the process, though at times the road may get rocky. But the process is a necessary part of the season. Preparing the way internally opens us to the better things, the best things, and is worth all the pain of the crosses that get us there. In fact, it is only through the cross that we get there!
This Advent season, commit to the process of waiting, knowing that the birth of something greater is waiting for you at the end. Be in the present, but look forward as John the Baptist did to the future coming of our King. With His birth comes not only the hope of the world, but our hope in becoming everything that He wants us to be. The best of the best.