Advent devotion: Chipping away
As we prepare ourselves to connect with God through the birth of Jesus on Christmas day, we can only fully do that by bringing the self that God made to the relationship…our true self…the self we already are.
The more we are willing to risk being ourselves, with all the vulnerability that holds, the more meaningful our relationships can be. What a safe way to be ourselves, when the love is not conditional and the love is never ending.
I love the image of baby Jesus in the manger. It is a very humble, quiet, non-intimidating image. When God presents in such an approachable manner, it is a beautiful invitation to come as we are.
That kind of relationship encourages growth, freedom, and comfort. As we allow ourselves to be in a relationship with that much vulnerability and depth, we allow more vulnerability and depth in our human relationships.
I just returned from a trip to Italy, where I saw works by Michelangelo that left me speechless and in awe. Years ago, I read a book that said when Michelangelo stared at a piece of marble, he already saw the beautiful statue that he would create. He just needed to chip away the excess and expose the beauty. The book compared it to how God sees us. We are fully who God made us to be…we just need to chip away the excess, the noise, the distraction, the mindlessness. We need to live intentional lives with intentional purpose.
Advent is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what pieces of our lives need to be “chipped away.” What boundaries do we need to put in place for our time and attention? At times, my whole life can feel like it is consumed by what someone else thinks is important. I have wished away days, weeks, and whole months of my life. The pace and content of my life have been downright annoying at times. Life can fall out of balance so easily. This is why Advent is a chance to “chip away” at what makes us less than who we are.
For myself, as I prepare for Advent, I am going to be aware of the moments in life where I can breathe easily and my soul feels free. I am going to try to increase these moments and make an effort to live out who I already know I am. In chipping away the excess we will be fully ready to receive him.
“It’s really a matter of becoming who you already are.”
Jenn Bergerson is a preschool teacher and mother of four who lives with her family in Eldridge.