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Image by Friends Church

Image by Friends Church

Well, it happened. After reading all the blog negativity surrounding Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and receiving countless emails practically pleading me to go buy buy buy; I was fully committed to boycotting the whole mess. After a conversation with my kids on Sunday though, I began feeling the ever familiar siren song of, “I have to buy something awesome!”

On my lunch hour today I firmly determined to ‘briefly browse’ the Cyber Monday specials. I’d avoided gray and black. I just needed to cruise through cybermall and I would be home free. An hour later my lunch hour was demolished with frenzied Ebay searching, Amazon-ing lightning deals, and frantically scouring blogs in search of the next best deal. All this so my kids will think I’m the best dad on Christmas. (Not really. Okay, maybe a little).

It happened so quickly. My determination to stillness was quickly washed away as the pull of Christmas retail came screaming at me from 21 inches of LCD pixels.

That’s the way it works though. Our morning devotion serenity  is interrupted with a mid-morning office crisis. Our teacher surprises us with an end of the semester group project. Our plates are already full. For me, my Advent calm erupted in an explosion of desperation believing I would pay more for something than I should pay because my kids will need this thing that they probably won’t use in a month all because there are Christmas expectations that no one can possibly live up to and isn’t this gift giving thing just some retail scheme to…

See. It’s.Easy.To.Get.Distracted.

Jesus speaks this to us. It’s not an Advent verse. But it fits. At least, it spoke to my busied heart this afternoon.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:13-14 (NLT)

I thought about all the gifts we will be giving in 24 days. How they’ll never fully satiate the deep stirrings of longing in our souls. The new will become normal, then old. The very thing we want from a box will never be the thing we really need.

I don’t want to diminish the wonder and joy of Christmas. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll get to that. Let’s admit though that we can miss it; miss the hope and wonder. Distraction is literally a click away. We get thirsty, and we skip what truly quenches us. This Advent let’s begin by remembering that the One who came still comes to offer us the full for our parched and hurried souls.

Til next time,