Our passage for this second weekend of Advent was John 6:1-13, where Jesus feeds the five thousand. Not your typical Christmas-y story, but the lesson of making ourselves available for God's super plans flowed out of the boy who offered his five loaves and two fish to kickstart a miracle. On Friday night we continued our annual tradition of watching the Unionville Christmas Candlelight Parade with our dear friend and her family. The weather was mild, we scored a good parking spot, and enjoyed the always-anti-climactic yet still-charming tree-lighting that you can only find outside the city.
We decorated the tree and the family room and, aside from the wreath on the front door, I'll probably just keep the Christmas decor at that. Paper chains, banners, snowflakes, 10 year old baubles and popcorn and jingle bell garlands...gone are the days when I needed to match Martha's per-branch bulb count for Christmas to look right.
Finally, we went on our secret drive-thru mission to pay for the car behind us. I did a test run on my way to work, treating the person behind me to their medium coffee, and I giggled all the way out of the line and down the street to the office. After dinner, we loaded into the car, and camped out 15m away from the Tim Horton's order taking screen thingy until someone pulled up behind us. And so the adrenaline pumped away. We treated ourselves to donuts, arrived at the window and totally confused the staff with our idea. The plan eventually unfolded as planned and we sped away into the night and back home.
Much to the kids' dismay, we have no idea how the shiny black Mercedes behind us received the treat or the card we had the staff give them. But the idea was for it to be a secret from start to finish. To give without opportunity to collect thanks. And in winter's early nightfall, it was too difficult to hide in a corner and peek at the action. It seems a great enough scheme, though, to try out a few more times in the coming year, when daylight and our schedules coincide.
If the chronology of this recap doesn't make sense, you're right. Much of the action took place from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening. But this was what our flexibility accommodated. A (life-shaping) funeral modified our Saturday itinerary and fatigue got the better of us until after church on Sunday. But it really was okay. It turned out to be an important lesson. Just as we had a more valuable experience stretching into Monday, a greater life is awakened when we invite God out of our Sunday mornings and into the rest of our week.