Ordinary time ends this weekend and Advent begins in one week. That means that this weekend my wife and I should try and find the Advent wreath, make sure we have candles that are not burned to nubbins. We need to prepare to prepare. It is time for us to listen, learn and wait.
As a dad I have a fault where I think I will best teach my children by words. I’m good at talking. I have opinions. Some are very strong. I share them often. Even if no-one wants to hear them. Somehow I act as though words are what will make me a good father an saying the right thing will keep my children on a good path and protect them from hurt and harm. It is tempting to believe that all I need to do is say the right things, but that’s not really true. Words without actions are impotent.
I can forget my children are always watching me. Not like a bunch of creepy stalkers, but as avid learners trying to find their way in the world. My sons hear my words, watch how I handle my frustration and see what I value by where I spend my time. My daughters do the same in addition to learning about relationships by how I interact with my wife and respond to the guys in their lives. What I do is many times more potent than what I say. And when what I do does not match what I say, guess which they believe.
So Advent is coming. A time where we are to prepare our hearts to receive Jesus at his incarnation. Time to find the Advent wreath and proper candles. Time for us to set at the center of the family table a reminder that there is a need for light in the world. A world that experiences darkness not just due to the angle of the earth to the sun but the angle of us to the Son. My actions, in ways as simple as making sure the Advent wreath is ready can say volumes.
Time to be quiet and go find the candles, and let my actions speak.