Four little flames are all aflicker in my Advent candle arrangement this evening.
I didn’t realize when I hatched the idea of lighting a candle every day of Advent, that I might actually be able to relight the previous night’s candles so that on Saturday of each week, seven candles, then 14, then 21, and then 28 will be lit. I didn’t think there would be enough wax in those first candles to light them night after night after night. Mostly because I failed to account for how busy I would be during this season. 
By the time I actually light the candles, they burn for just a few minutes before it’s time to blow them out and head to bed.
What is it about the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas that makes a schedule go bezerk? During other months, I can say no to too many requests; I have boundaries that I respect. But during Advent, I say ‘yes’ to everything. Dinners out, appetizers and games, shopping with friends, Christmas programs, birthday celebrations: yes, yes, yes. I say ‘yes’ to everything.
It’s just day four of Advent, though, and already I am growing weary.
So, I am giving myself an Advent gift tonight. I am going to bed.
While the more typical Advent stance is watchfulness, attentiveness, alertness, tonight my prayer is that when the Lord returns, he will find faith on the earth. And the greatest act of faith I can accomplish this evening is to lay down my head, breathe in and breathe out, and taste the sweet death of sleep.
When I wake, I will still be waiting.