I’ve seen lots of discussion on Twitter recently re the colour of Advent candles, what that means, and whether it really matters if you don’t have the right colours (the general gist I seemed to agree with was is that the light itself is more important than the colour it’s dressed in!). Ron Glusenkamp encourages us to think of those serving as Light to people in very dark places on earth .. however you define those – every sphere of life needs light, right?
Sometimes we (well, definitely me) spends so long trying to do things, I haven’t got the energy to be and to simply absorb the light… which is what Maggi is encouraging as she continues to draw on Elijah’s example. We talk about finding time (days/weekends) for retreat and that God will then speak to us, and about having greater faith to be able to do more – but listen:
Is God so small that he cannot act, or so mean that he will not, unless I pray in just the right way or have the right amount of faith?
Often we think if we work that little bit harder, do a little bit more, more will happen .. No – sit quietly next to the candle, and:
Eat, drink, sleep. Don’t forget that you are a body as well as a soul. The still, small voice is hard to hear when your body is exhausted and you are sleep-deprived. Increased your chances of hearing that voice by looking after yourself – body and soul!
I’ve been trying to slow down, although ironically that’s going very slowly … but I have decluttered much, and started to create small spaces to enjoy cooking new meals, hanging out with people, and just losing myself in a book (and no, format doesn’t matter – sometimes paper/sometimes Kindle!) – and Pam reminds us that sometimes it’s OK to just run away for some restoration time…!
Having woken up feeling a bit like I’m bouncing along the bottom today … it’s good to have a further reminder from Brian Draper that Jesus didn’t use his time at The Last Supper to debate elegant philosophies, but for friendship and eating together – a time of refreshment before the hard times that he knew were ahead. Brian encourages us to ‘do something physical’ – to be aware of our bodies and our surroundings … just walking into work gives me that each morning … I may ‘swear’ at the hill, but maybe, just maybe it helps set me up for the day!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.