Monday, November 29, 2010
It's Time To Wake Up!
Do you still have that Thanksgiving hangover? The feeling like you ate too much, slept too much, and need to recharge your body and brain?
Me too. Fortunately, Advent has arrived – just in time to usher me out of my Tryptophan stupor.
Don’t get me wrong, Tryptophan -- an essential amino acid found in turkey – isn’t all bad. It helps your body produce the B-vitamin niacin, which, in turn, helps produce serotonin, a necessary chemical that acts as a calming agent in the brain and helps you sleep.
But if we’re not careful, some of us can sleep right through the holidays. I think you know what I mean.
Let’s face it, December is already a dark month – the days are shorter, the leaves are dead, and the sun rarely peaks its head out of the clouds here in the Midwest. Sure, the Christmas carols are playing, but it’s easy to walk through the shopping malls like zombies. It’s easy to just go through the motions.
This is where Advent comes in. In my church, we started the first Sunday of Advent (yesterday) by talking about John the Baptist.
Who is John the Baptist? To start, he’s Jesus’ first cousin. A prophet. A trailblazer. A wild man who ate honey and wild locusts. A homeless guy who lived in the wilderness and said things like “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!”
You might be asking yourself, What do I have in common with John the Baptist? He sounds like a lunatic.
Maybe so, but stick with me. God still uses wild men and woman to wake us up, especially when we’re walking around like spiritual zombies. Sure, our 21st Century “wilderness” might look like check-out lines and traffic jams – but it’s still the wilderness.
And John the Baptist knew a few things about living in the wilderness -- it’s like living forever in the month of December. Day after day – everything is dead, the sun never shines, and it’s easier just to roll over and go back to sleep. Like you’ve had too much Tryptophan.
But something is coming. Someone is coming. We don’t want to miss it, so we have to wake up.
It’s time to throw out the leftover turkey.