In a casual conversation this week, two unrelated questions were asked of me: how my dogs were (great), and if I was still running (yes!).
Then the unrelated were related: Do you run with your dogs?
EGADS, I answered: NO!
"Rhythm," I said. "It's all got to do with rhythm."
When I run, I like a steady rhythm. It's why I prefer treadmill to trail: I control the speed and incline to be consistent. There are no surprises; I can watch the game or play my music or whatever.
Walking the dogs, however, has a very different rhythm. It's an ADVENTURE! Everything is a surprise: there are bushes to smell and leaves to jump in and squirrels to chase and neighbours to greet and grass to roll in, and ... Summary: my dogs do not keep a steady pace; not with each other, not with me, not from one metre to the next - and we all like it.
Rhythm. It's all about rhythm.
Advent is another example of a different rhythm. It's a season where were invited to pay attention to the rhythm in our spiritual lives. It's different, seemingly out of sync with the world around us (who consider this 'the Christmas season'), but that's okay: we don't have to be limited by society's definition.
Instead, we pace ourselves: we find the space to let the Advent rhythm take root deep within us. We create the time to sit in the moment of preparation. We envelope ourselves with the true meaning of Advent: because we can.
Our Advent journey does not mean that we have to separate ourselves from the busyness of typical Christmas preparation. What it does do is invite us to carefully and prayerfully seek out the rhythm of the Spirit in our lives, and find ways for each to be present and meaningful in our day-to-day practices.
Our lives are full of rhythms, and we are enriched by how we respond to them.
The rhythm of running? Consistent, and delightful.
The rhythm of the dog walking? Adventurous, and delightful.
The rhythm of Advent? Spirit-led, and therefore delight-filled.
May we all be delighted in the rhythm of Advent.