“We must have within ourselves some consciousness of this impelling power that may lead us to travel deliberately through our ages, realizing that the most wonderful adventures are not those which we go forth to seek.”

Frances Chesterton, The Open Road, The Parents’ Review, 1900, from The Woman Who Was Chesterton, Nancy Carpentier Brown, 2015

What do you and I expect of this Advent? What preparations are we making along the way to be ready for Christ’s birth? Maybe Advent is not what you expected this year. Maybe your own life has not turned out they way you thought. This is what Frances went through herself. She expected to have a family with Gilbert and settle down to a quiet life of housekeeping and doing good to her neighbors. What she got instead was an amazing life beside one of the geniuses of their Age and bewilderment over not being able to conceive a child of her own.

Frances Chesterton got something unexpected but what she expected, she didn’t get. Have you ever felt your life was more about loss than it was gain?

But whatever was gain to me I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. ( Philippians 3:8 )

What Frances and Gilbert both learned was what God wants us all to learn: that this life is not the life. That our focus on the normal and natural here is not the aim of this life, as innocent as we may think our desires may be, because God wants so much more for us! This is not the real life the Holy spirit keeps reminding us. And any joy here is short-lived and incomparable to the joy of the everlasting life set before us. Any loss is also short-lived and incomparable to the gain of Christ.

Our journey’s end is Christ. He and heaven are the home we are to anticipate with joy at arriving. Everything we think we miss here along that way in the adventures of loss and gain that happen, are the road we must travel deliberately on our way to Him.

Are you ready now to make this Advent journey, to travel deliberately away from our losses and toward the one gain God wants for us?

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