Have you ever noticed that the holidays bring out the worst in our worrying? We often fall into a fretful habit of "What if-ing." "What if the new thing does not work?" "What if I have to cancel that work project?" "What if I still feel like this on Christmas how will I get the dinner done, the house cleaned? etc."

I realize it is hard to have hope sometimes amidst our daily challenges. But living in the future often steals today. Let us decide not to start our sentences with What if? This can be an Advent offering, especially on this third Sunday of Advent, a day of rejoicing.

Let us practise tossing our "What-if's" out of our heads whenever they intrude. We may be surprised at how often we waste perfectly good hours by worrying about something that has not happened yet and might never happen. Yes we may endure miserable moments and it will take discipline not to return to the old pattern, but "the Lord is good to those who hope in him, to those who are searching for his love" Lamentations 3:25).

We will discover with astonishment, many of our worries never come to pass. We see it as a waste of energy, yes, but also a lesson. As St. Paul reminds us, "Hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance" (Romans 8:25). Remember, God deals with what is, not with what if. After all, where else could we ever meet God but right here and right now? This is what Advent is all about, welcoming the God of the Here-and-Now. Each Advent, as we wait for the Child who brought us the hope that never fades, let us give thanks.

Rev'd. Fr. Colin Humes