When I was about 13 or 14 I snooped.
There was a gift under the tree with my name on it, from Nanaan (grandma). One day when I was home alone I decided to open the gift. It was a pocket knife very similar to this one.I was blown away. My dad carried a small pocket knife, and I always thought that was cool. I knew I could not carry my knife in my pocket at school, but just the idea of me actually being an owner of a knife made me feel so grown up...
...but then it hit me: being a snooper made me feel really not grown up.
I had carefully unwrapped the gift, intending all along to put it back under the tree. As I now did so, I began to plan for the fake surprised look on my face on Christmas morning. I came to this conclusion:
I've never prematurely opened a package again, and I have no idea what happened to that knife. On Christmas morning I acted surprised and I don't think anyone knew I had snooped. But I knew.
This crisp Christmas Eve morning I am struck with fresh thoughts of waiting for the right time to open a gift vs snooping and trying to find out early. I suppose the Jews of ancient Israel knew something of this waiting, as they eagerly anticipated Messiah. And I suppose that's what Advent is all about now: allowing desire to come to full fruition and allowing God, through the gift of Jesus, to be the supplier of all needs.
If Lent is about sacrificial identification with Jesus' sufferings, then Advent is about the beauty and goodness of anticipation, and (to put a bit of a Zen spin on it, I suppose) allowing now to matter a whole lot more, because of the trust and faith wrapped up in the not yet.
Enjoy today for what it is, and let tomorrow be tomorrow.
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