Published December 12, 2018 by SMBC

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

Proverbs 14:29

By Charlie Funderburk

When I was younger, I did not know what Advent was. I thought it was just a warning the church gave to say, ?Christmas is almost here, fellas.? I did not like it because it was the only thing between me and Christmas. I just wanted to open the presents on Christmas morning.

Eventually, I grew out of my narcissistic frame of mind going through middle school. When I was buried in school work or had troubles with friends, I would tell my parents about all the hardships of being a sixth grader. They would tell me to look forward to the next family trip or the next holiday in the school year. If you keep that in mind, then you look ahead with purpose and keep chugging on through.

Advent comes in with Christmas carols from choirs and ringing handbells. Christmas decorations of gold and red are everywhere you look. Now, I let all this remind me of Advent's purpose - that Christmas is coming soon.

When you don't rush through Advent, Christmas morning becomes so much better because your anticipation is made out of joy rather than made out of impatience. Now, the Advent weeks refresh me. It all brings me closer to the church.

Looking back, I think God helped me realize how essential Advent is for Christians. I learned I can wait and anticipate, spiritually, with joy, instead of anxious anticipation and impatience.

God, we pray for the right attitude as we wait for Christmas. Amen.

Charlie Funderburk, 15, is a freshman at Strake Jesuit where he plays football. His parents are Greg and Kelly and his brother is Hank.