“Road rage” has worked its way into our regular vocabulary and experiences. We share stories of the idiotic things people do on the interstates of America, taking an almost perverse delight in threatening speed and dominating lane changes.
Road rage gets applied to other situations. Toward our second week of travel several years ago, Valerie and I agreed that both of us were experiencing “tourist rage.” This time of year, I can imagine situations of grocery store rage, pew rage (at the Christmas Eve services), or Federal Government rage. It is a term that can be seen as emblematic of our times.
It shows why we need the messages of Advent. The season is preparatory in nature (not penitential like Lent). and it bids us to remain alert to God’s advent and possibilities of giving and serving. In a culture which encourages swallowing whole all the yule tide we can muster in self-absorption, Advent counsels us to do the very thing the world will do its best to prevent.
During these weeks of Advent, our prayer is a short and simple one: “Lord, help us to stay awake to your promptings to give and serve. Amen.”