For me, the season of Advent is a time to ponder and prepare. It is a time to quiet my heart and mind and spend some extra time practicing listening to God. I’m guessing you might be reading this and thinking, “are you crazy?” This time leading up to Christmas is a zoo! There seems to be so little time available and every minute of every day is full. How could I ever slow down enough to ponder; nothing would get done! Which is exactly why I believe we need to be intentional about setting time aside to quiet ourselves and listen. Advent is not about getting ready for Christmas, that is, the busy planning and preparing for the day or days around the 25th of December. Advent is a time to take a spiritual inventory of our lives. It is a time to examine how our lives align with the in-breaking of God’s kingdom. It is a time to find the light in the darkness and take it out from under the bushel basket so that it brings light to more and more. Indeed, much of our energy has moved towards these types of activities; bell ringing, toys for tots, stocking the food pantry, making the season brighter and warmer for families in need. All of these represent the sharing of the light of Christ. Still, I think we need a time of quietude. A time to silence all the din of the season and to listen for that still small voice. It is a time to ask God for a clearing of the path that God would have us travel and to listen to God’s response. May this Advent season be for you a time of great joy and anticipation, but may it also bring a time of silence and reflection. May your heart be filled with God’s peace and may you follow God’s call. Blessed Advent!