Minister’s Moment, December 2018
On most days I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of where babies come from. I know the science: the anatomy and the biology. I also know how other animals, insects, plants, and flowers reproduce. But if I sit and think about it long enough, I eventually reach the edge of all I know. And there I am, time after time, face to face with the mystery.
I wonder, how does the tulip bulb know what to do deep in the frozen earth? Who or what tells the tiny goldfish zygote to divide? Why does the heart of a human embryo start to beat? And what happened so long ago in the moments before the Big Bang?
I don’t know. I don’t know how or why life was created. I don’t know where the spirit of life comes from or why it initiates new life. The nature of creation, the fact that anything even exists at all, is simply a mystery to me. The only thing I can control in this vast universe is my own response to it.
So, this year, as we enter into the season of Advent, one of my favorite times of the year, but also one of the most challenging for me, I am choosing to put my thirst for knowledge and need for answers on hold and simply rest in the mystery of life and all that I don’t know.
As you are all aware, my wife and I are expecting our first child. We are excited, nervous, delighted, and anxious to be bringing a new baby into the world. I want to hurry up and meet this child! But of course, the only thing I can do right now is wait and let the process unfold in its own time.
Advent is calling me this year to slow down, embrace the mystery, steep myself in hope, experience peace, and prepare the way for love.
If you care to join me, I invite you too to enter into stillness this holiday season. Let go of your need for control and concrete answers. Let go of the future. Don’t rush ahead to Christmas or the next big thing. Be present now. Be patient. Prepare the way. Allow yourself to be astonished. Relax into wonder and awe. And above all, don’t be afraid to embracethe mystery.