The Gift Of Preparation
I believe I can safely say that we are always preparing for something. The range of things being prepared for can greatly vary, but it is all important. For me, personally, I am preparing for the end of another college semester with all the tests, presentations and papers that come with it. A lot of times this seems overwhelming and daunting, and I don’t want to do it. On top of that, I have other tasks that I need to prepare for, including packing, family time and preparing for Christmas.
The preparation for Christmas is beautiful. It reminds us that we are preparing for something greater than we could ever imagine. Many of us think of preparation as a chore. Maybe we see preparation as something we don’t enjoy; or we think it is another task to check off our list of things to do. However, there is a problem with seeing preparation as a chore since we are always preparing for something in our lives – no matter if you are a college student, parent, working adult, retired or somewhere in between.
Advent is here to remind us that preparation and anticipation are joyful! We are preparing for Christmas, the birth of Jesus and the second coming. What could be more exciting than that? It is easy to forget what preparation can really mean in our day-to-day lives. All this preparation helps us move forward and achieve success, learn new things, and help foster different interactions. These are all good things. The best part of it all is that we can ask God to be with us in these times of preparation – and especially when we see that preparation as stressful.
I know I can be guilty of not letting God be with me in my preparations. For example, I have a hard time seeing the enjoyment of preparing for tests. I remember one time this past semester where I had four tests within a week of each other. I started studying for the first one (maybe a little later than I should have) but I did. While studying, I invited God to be present with me. I had this sense of peace come over me. I knew I was going to do alright with my first test so I could start studying for my next one. Every time I studied and took my tests, I knew I was going to do well. God wants to be present in our lives all day every day. By allowing God to be present in my preparation for my tests, I knew I was going to do well.
During Advent, it is important to take time and remember why we prepare. Allowing Jesus into our lives is a beautiful thing, but we need to take time to prepare ourselves for Him and the love that He brings.
Davis is a senior Psychology major at the University of Southern Indiana. She facilitates a small group in Newman.