Waking Up to a Bucket of Water on your Head by Emily Halstead

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.’” -Mark 13:33

water_waker

Advent has begun, and so has the final countdown to the end of the semester. The season of Advent—much like that of these last days preceding final exams—is one of preparation. So if you’re still pressing Snooze, hoping to push off the preparation just a little bit longer, now is a good time to consider waking up.

Let’s first consider what the end of the semester holds for most at YHC: some of us are preparing for cumulative tests, some are preparing for presentations or to submit projects, and some are even preparing to graduate and enter a new phase of life. That preparation does not come without its fair share of stress. You may find yourself making sacrifices in order to prepare properly for what is ahead. You may be giving up time with friends or time watching Elf (and eating candy, candy canes, candy corn, & syrup), or you may be giving up a trip to the movies to see Mockingjay: Part I because you need to have just one. more. cram session before the exam. You may even find yourself fighting off sleep and drinking a Monster, knowing that if you let yourself doze off you could end up completely missing that big final presentation or deadline. Trust me—I know that pain.  There is stress involved. But the work you put into that preparation and the sacrifices you make in order to be ready—those are choices. Those choices are conscious decisions that you make for yourself because you recognize the payoff that comes from adequate preparation. And when you finally hit that finish line of the big test or preparation or essay submission, you know how joyous it can feel to finally reach that moment you had anticipated for so long.

Now let’s jump back to Advent.

This season of preparation is one which many Christians observe in anticipation of the birth of Christ on Christmas day.  This opportunity for preparation looks very different for different people: some take the time for service to others, some may donate money to those in need, some may go to Confession, some take more time to pray, some may visit church more often, or any number of other responses to God’s call to prepare for Jesus.  Just as preparation for a final exam requires making some sacrifices—at times even accompanied by stress—in order to reach the final joy, preparation for Christmas also requires a conscious decision to give up things that we don’t need in order to prepare for what it is we DO need. How is God calling you to prepare your heart for that which you need, and that which He offers?

We are given a clear charge from Jesus at the beginning of Advent: be watchful, and be alert.

Consider this iChapel your Monster energy drink, or perhaps a bucket of water being dropped on your head.  There are wonderful, joyous occasions ahead (i.e. the end of final exams, and Christmas), and they will be all the sweeter if you are awake and prepared for them.

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