December 1, 2019 | Isaiah 2:1-5

It’s hard to slow down and stop preparing for life’s challenges.

Every day, after lunch, I leave the chapel basement, push open the heavy oak chapel doors, and mentally arm myself for the day at Duke. Checklists flash through my mind as I think about the things I should’ve said, the things I didn’t do, the things I need to do…

And then the day goes on, with my mental lists keeping me sharp and (mostly) on top of things. I walk from class to class, talking to one friend and then another, studying first for biology and then chemistry, and all of the sudden the day ends. As I fall asleep I say prayers for my friends and for my sister and for my mom and for whatever else is going on and then I wake up drag my feet out of bed and prepare to fight through another day.

It’s hectic.

I spend most of my time arming myself to fight through all of the challenges that life brings. But, in doing so, I often fail to take a step back, slow down, and enjoy all of the beautiful things God placed in this world.


One such beauty is this quote that I see as I exit those heavy wooden doors of the chapel basement:

They will beat their swords into plowshares

 and their spears into pruning hooks.

Advent is a time for reflection, rejoicing, and reconciliation. A time to set aside our mental weapons and use our minds to build community. A time to open our hearts and embrace things that make life wonderful and that bring people together.

Isn’t that what it means to walk into the light of the Lord?