My wife and I learned nearly 25 years ago our family’s life is much nicer if we simply invest in a “cleaning lady” every couple of weeks. We’ve second guessed our decision a few times and always regretted the decision “to do it ourselves.” Inevitability our family peace, happiness and harmony suffered. Now, there is a down side to having a cleaning lady or service. We have to “prepare” for her visit. For my wife this means “tidying” up so that the cleaning lady doesn’t think that we are a family of slobs. For me, it’s spending 5 to 10 minutes on the day she comes putting things away—or, more accurately, hiding them. This is not because I am afraid of what she will find. Nor is it because I would be embarrassed by anything that she would find. I’ve just learned that if I do not “hide” things the cleaning lady will “put it away” and it will take me hours, if not days, to guess where my stuff may be! It’s kind of like an adult version of “hide and seek”.
John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord…make his paths straight. Fill in every valley, level every mountain, straighten out the crooked path, and make the rough places smooth. (Luke 3: 4b-5)
So how do we prepare ourselves spiritually in this season of Advent? I believe that it begins with not taking ourselves so seriously and taking Christ more seriously. In one of the gospels John the Baptist said that he, John, must decrease and He, Christ, must increase. In other words, “Less of me and more of Thee!”
Between now and Christmas Day, why not get prepared by starting your day with a very simple prayer; “Lord, what would You have me do today?” Implicit in this little prayer is an attitude of “not my will but Thy will be done.” Go ahead and make your “To Do” lists. Plan out your day. But be prepared for a surprise because I truly believe that God may have a different agenda in mind for you today… or tomorrow.