Bill sat alone at an isolated corner of the bar. This is where he’s been spending a lot of his time lately. It was the only way, it seemed, to relieve the stress—-to numb the depression.
Bill just didn’t have any answers. Julie, his wife, was definitely going through with the divorce—-she made that plainly clear just the other day. He had to admit, he couldn’t blame her. He had made a mess of things. It was just hard to hear her say that she had met someone who (well, at least she said) makes her happy—-someone she could count on.
Bill hadn’t been a person to be counted on. His drinking had gotten in the way of that, along with other things as well. It seemed that throughout his life Bill had been offered many opportunities, yet he always seemed to make the wrong decisions. Maybe those decisions had been made with only himself in mind and not his wife and family, or anyone else for that matter! And so, as he took another sip of his drink, he thought to himself, “How did I end up life this?”
When Bill tried to answer this question, he would start by blaming everyone else: His friends in college who were a bad influence, his parents for not understanding him, his wife for being too hard on him, his supervisors for not knowing what they were doing, and on and on.
But, for some reason, Bill wasn’t going down that path tonight. Maybe it was the grace of the moment; his realization that it was finally time to stop blaming everyone else. Maybe Bill needed some professional help, and even more, some spiritual help.
“How did I end up like this?” We may have asked ourselves this same question at certain times in our life. Maybe our experience is similar to Bill’s. Are we blaming everyone else for what ultimately were our own bad of self-centered decisions?
Today (this evening) we begin Advent. Not a count-down to Christmas, but a time of preparation for the coming of Christ at the end of time. If you are wondering how to get things moving in the right direction again, but just don’t know how, Advent reminds us that Jesus is the one who can help us fulfill our most basic need—-being united with Christ, and finding peace within ourselves.
If you know of someone who’s lost contact with God, tell them that they can start over again. No matter how long it has been, there’s always the chance to return.
“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep”, “Throw off works of darkness”, and “you must be prepared”. These are the words of Scripture as we begin the Season of Advent. Christ is saying, “Stop the pattern of bad decisions. Stop being so afraid and overwhelmed.” Turn to the God who sent us His Son as mediator and friend.
“O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”