Hello to all of you,
I like to travel to the same places over and over. I am also one of those weird people who likes to watch the same movie or read the same book several times. Every time I go back to a place I already visited or re-read a book or re-watch a movie, I see and notice new things. Things that I didn’t catch or realize the first time.
Especially when it comes to travel, every trip is an adventure: an opportunity to explore a new neighbourhood, visit a new museum or church, meet new people or reconnect with old acquaintances. Victor Hugo wrote that “to read is to travel; to travel is to read” and in my opinion, the same is true for watching a movie. These travels, experiences, adventures, give me a chance to better understand the human condition and its many faces. In any case, these experiences make me think and end up transforming me. Sometimes in small ways and other times in more fundamental ways.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. This period is repeated every year, always built around the same themes even if the texts change with each liturgical year. A time that I have often received passively and where ‘waiting’ is a recurring theme. I have nothing against waiting, but I personally don’t find it exciting. Waiting in the boarding area before taking a plane while sipping a $10 coffee, it’s not thrilling!
I found myself making connections between Advent and my touristy, film and book adventures. The words ‘advent’ and ‘adventure’ come from the same root meaning ‘that which is about to happen’. If we could see Advent as an adventure, whatever form it takes, it is easy to imagine that when God visits us, it has the potential for being a huge life-changing adventure!
I think that if I put as much energy and passion into revisiting Advent as I do when I travel, read, or watch a movie, I think there is space for introspection, to be challenged, and for transformation. In small ways and possibly in larger, more fundamental ways.
In this season before Christmas, I hope that we can lift the veil on Emmanuel – on the Divine who comes to us to be with us. Perhaps to fully realize that God is already in our lives and accompanying us on our life journey.
For the end of the semester and for the end of 2022, I wish you a good dose of hope, to live in peace and serenity, to go about things with joy in your heart, knowing that you are loved unconditionally and perfectly.
Norman Robert Boie, Chaplain.
This message was written by Norman Robert Boie for this week’s Wingèd Ox, a weekly news digest distributed to the college community.