Carolyn Myss, the medical intuitive who writes and lectures about why people don’t heal, flew to Russia a few years ago to give some lectures. Everything that could go wrong did—flights were canceled or overbooked, connections missed, her reserved room at the hotel given to someone else. She kept trying to be a good sport, but finally, two mornings later, on the train to her conference on healing, she began to whine to the man sitting next to her about how infuriating her journey had been thus far. It turned out that this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said—gently—that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born—and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.
We have all lived through periods when everything seems to go wrong. What if we could believe that such moments were crackling with the power and presence of God? What if we could see it all as a holy distraction—God diverting us so that something big could be born?
It’s true. We have to be distracted, otherwise we’d try to “help” it be born. Or we’d try to kill it. We’d worry to death about what could go wrong at its birth. We would try to control its gestation, its formation, to make it what we think it needs to be.
These four preparatory weeks before Christmas and the great birth are known as Advent. Advent is a gestational season. Something big is aborning. If things are chaotic and going hopelessly wrong right now (as they certainly were on a cold night thousands of years ago when a young unwed mother was forced to give birth in a livestock cave), lift up your head. In a moment of quiet, ask God if something is being born. And then—don’t touch it. Let it be.