Attracted to or Distracted from Advent?

photo by I.K.Hadinger

photo by I.K.Hadinger

Phones ringing, incoming text messages, full e-mail inbox, crammed schedules, and a hectic lifestyle in general are outward distractions to the spiritual (and contented) life.

But there are worse distractions. From within.

Distracted by worry, the voice that whispers “trust me” obliges the need to call repetitively.

“I believe!” we say.


…that He is in control

…that He is our provider

…that He loves us

…that He knows our need before we ask

…that He is bigger than our situation

Again, He calls, “trust me.”

We nod our heads and with complete sincerity say, “Yes, Lord, you know I do.” But just as quickly our attention is diverted by the whir of worry, that noisy thing that runs circles in our mind and heart like a train under a Christmas tree.

Do you know what I mean?

Whether a serious need or simply “wants”, we ruminate over them. Round and round it goes. A cycle of faith then worry. It may not be the acid-reflux causing worry, nor the bite-your-nails worry, nor the gray-hair-overnight worry; sometimes our worries are merely longings for things we don’t have.

I’ve been there. Those worries are distractions in our life: spiriutally, relationally, and emotionally.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than that? Look at the birds, how God takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than them?”                               – Jesus

With the Christmas season approaching, I was concerned about not having any decorations–no tree, ornaments, nativity, etc., as all our belongings (sans two suitcases each) remained in Mexico. I stood in my living room…a bit troubled. Trimmings breed festivity. My husband and daughter need the atmosphere. Our sons are coming home from college. We’re only here for one, maybe two years, so spending a portion of our modest budget on seasonal frippery was unwise. I squared my shoulders ready to face a sparkle-less Christmas.

Until the distraction (concern) came again.

“Trust Me,” echoed a Voice in my spirit, “keep your eyes on Me.” And I did, between bouts of resigned sighing.

Before going to New York City last week, I worried about what to wear. It was to be special, our 25th anniversary celebration. We would be going both to the ballet and a concerto. Not only did I not have fancy clothes, I didn’t have many winter clothes at all! We moved back to the states last June with only two suitcases each. Not exactly vain, but I do have some dignity and wanted to go on our trip feeling pretty and somewhat put together.

It was a distraction, this dreaming of adequate couture.