My life used to be much fuller. I worked two full-time jobs. I had two teenage daughters. I was a wife. I tried to keep house. For a while we also added foster children to that mix.
Life was busy. Full of things. Broad, but not deep. My motto might have been, “so much to do, so little time.” That is if I had stopped long enough to consider a motto.
Life has swiftly moved on. My daughters are now mothers–both over thirty. The movement has been a journey and a process. In the process, I have slowed down. And as a result, life is richer. I find moments to be treasure-worthy. It’s not all good, but it’s good.
Earlier in my life, when I read the Christmas story and came upon the phrase: in the fullness of time, I took it to mean full in the sense of crammed to the brim–and I lived my life accordingly.
I was wrong.
The phrase means: when the time was right, or ripe.
I don’t fully understand what made that time “right” in God’s eyes. What I do know is in my own life, God is never early nor late. I may want him to come sooner, do something sooner. change things now–but I have come to trust two things completely: if things don’t happen on my time table, then God is still working things out; and he is absolutely trustworthy.
When things come together we often say the time was right. We are often in the right spot at the right time–or not. It’s the right time to get married, to have a child, to buy a car. The stars align. The market is favorable. We can identify physical markers and emotional leanings–so why would we be surprised when God says, “It’s time.”
And that’s how we are invited into this Advent season. However full or empty our world seems, it’s just right for God to work. With the same child-like excitement that builds toward opening Christmas presents, let’s anticipate the gift God has for us.