Simeon and Anna were waiting for something good to happen. Life for the Jewish people was not particularly pleasant under the Romans although things had been worse at other times in their history. But they were waiting for better days specifically centered in their hopes of a Saviour. We all have ways that we describe the cycles of life. We often hear it said, “life has its ups and downs.” Others describe life as the four seasons of life, but for me it is more like the road around Lake Murphysboro. Lake Murphysboro is one of the most beautiful spots in Southern Illinois surrounded by a variety of trees and wild life. The road around the lake is exactly four miles long with widely varying elevations. Over the past few years I have walked or run around the lake probably 100 times. Sometimes I run it alone and other times with friends.
I have run the lake enough times that I know where every curve and elevation is. Each mile is so deeply ingrained in my muscle memory that I have named them. Mile number one is “Lake View”. Mile two is “Feel the Burn”. Mile three is “Hell’s Hills” and Mile Four is “The Pines” Over the next week I will reflect on each of these miles as a metaphor for life. Some of the terrain is pleasant and easy while other parts are painful and grueling. One thing I learn from the lake is that things will not always be as they are right now. If life is pleasant, there will be unpleasant days ahead, but if life is particularly difficult, it will not always be as it is today. Advent is a season of where we are reminded to wait. One of the messages I get from Advent is that good things come to those who wait. Waiting is not passive, but its active and expectant. The biblical word is “watch” The message of Advent for me is that good things come to those who wait. Journey with me these next few days as I use the image of Lake Murphysboro to talk about the journey of life.