I like Advent. In a season which is about waiting and hoping those of us who enjoy waiting and hoping are happiest. It may also be that the nature of my work is that it is differently seasonal to others. Consequently as the world speeds up to stupid pace I slow down.
My first Christmas after I was ordained (1984) I fell asleep on the sofa on Christmas afternoon with a two year old and a four year old jumping on me. I only woke up when the older one reported to Mrs Mustard that 'Daddy's dead.' Well it was nice to be missed for a few seconds before I was soundly beaten for failing in the simple task of looking after two children.
Ever since those two scoundrels grew up and left home to make their fortune (still waiting boys, still waiting) I have made it my business to be on duty over school vacations so those who need to take their holidays then can be away. I try to run courses and events that are targeted at times when people will not be otherwise busy.
Last night someone prayed for the clergy at this 'particularly busy time.' I blushed. Not that anyone prays especially for clergy during a half-term week with all the occasional offices and being the only one in town on duty so I'll take it vicariously if that's OK?
Alpha course finishes next week with a celebration and then I'll catch up on admin for next year and go off for a four day retreat. For the first few years I adopted this pattern I felt guilty. It used to be hard observing others work themselves into the ground while I watched and prayed. Then I remember the reason for the season and I watch and pray.