This time of year seems to be a season of expectancy. And I don't just say that from the perspective of it being 7 weeks until our baby is due. Everybody seems to be starting to prepare and look forward to Christmas already, including myself. In years gone by it has seemed like a faux pas to start planning and preparing much in November, but this year, it just seems sensible. And not only that, it seems like 'everyone is doing it'.
I don't know if this is a rural thing or maybe it's just that I'm spending less time with people my own age. Is it just students and people in their 20s who are more prone to do everything last minute and, quite probably, in the middle of the night?
I was both alarmed and, I'll admit, quite impressed, to discover that my husband has already bought me all my Christmas presents. Slightly concerned that I only just managed to scrape him together a couple of birthday presents, and they were late...
But I will say this, I have been getting prepared for the baby. Buying, collating, washing, reading, practising breathing techniques, organising people to cover my absence. I keep hearing stories of babies that have arrived significantly early and getting the feeling that I have to be ready for the baby to turn up any second. At least we know for sure when Christmas will happen!
Chances are, of course, that I'll still be twiddling my thumbs over the bump in January, but I am trying to be ready in case.
And that, perhaps is the problem. In seasons of expectation, our reaction is to try and get 'ready'. But is anybody ever properly ready for their first child? I've read so much information in the last couple of months and still keep coming up with more and more questions. They are small things, practicalities mostly, and I expect it will all become clear as it happens, but the fact is, no matter how well prepared we are, we have to keep learning as we go along.
I talked a bit on Sunday about trusting God in our blind vulnerability. We can never know fully what God is up to and where His plans are taking us. There is always an element of the unknown when we work with God. At a ministers' meeting recently we mused over how God seems to often use the things we do unintentionally much more than He uses the things we do intentionally! Offhand comments have changed lives. Sermons that went awry have often made the biggest impact.
So perhaps we shouldn't set so much store in preparation. Yes, be responsible, prayerfully make preparations that are necessary, but don't put too much value on feeling 'ready'. God will lead the unfolding of events and sometimes, no amount of work will prepare you for what is to come. And that's okay. Because wherever it is He takes you, He won't abandon you when you get there!
Interested in more?
Check out some of our Sunday sermons at: http://www.buresbaptistchurch.org/sermon_catchup.php