If our lives are ruled by the spirit of Advent, this loving expectation of God, they will have a quality quite different from that of conventional piety. For they will be centered on an entire and conscious dependence upon the supernatural love which supports us; hence all self-confidence will be destroyed in them and replaced by perfect confidence in God.
Ah, self-confidence. It is necessary and it is not sufficient.
Some of us struggle mightily to develop self-confidence. Given our upbringing or our gender or our situation in life, sometimes we make a conscious effort to throw off the constraints that would make us small and choose instead to move with confidence into whatever the world might hold.
We work with our children to build a sense of their confidence. Sometimes, in an attempt to protect ourselves from remembering our own young wounding, we seek to cocoon our children in a failure-free chrysalis, thinking that by shielding them from pain we are protecting and growing their beings.
Self confidence is a good thing. And it is not sufficient, because we and our children are going to fail. We are going to fall in spectacular ways off the pedestal of our own or our parent’s construction. We will spend time wandering and wondering and nothing will feel familiar and in just such times the presence of something larger than our own surety is gift beyond price.
There will be times in life where self-confidence is laughable and confidence in God the only power that we draw upon; breath by breath, step by step.
We are Advent people. We live – sometimes even mindfully – with a sense that there is more to life and star dance than our own will and being.
And we ground our very lives upon that love beyond us, don’t we?
As you mark this Advent day of waiting in the mystery, remember and give thanks for those times when you were lost and broken and frightened and somehow somehow somehow the song of the angel and the presence of God-With-Us led you to wholeness.
We walk in the mystery of Holy presence.