When my oldest son was a preschooler, he was fascinated by trains and loved making configurations with his Thomas the Tank Engine tracks and trains. One of the things the trains would “say” as the kids played was, “Heavy load . . . coming THROUGH!” When they were playing, the phrase meant, “Can’t stop! Have to get through!”
The phrase transferred to real life. To this day, when someone in the house is carrying something and needs a clear path, we say, “Heavy load . . . coming THROUGH!”
I was thinking that the words also apply in a metaphorical sense to the spiritual life. Sometimes we carry a lot of burdens: family needs, relationship issues, illnesses, loneliness, past wrongs, etc. Sometimes, we’re not necessarily feeling troubled, but we carry so many responsibilities that we don’t make time or space in our lives to pause and look. We are too busy to stop. To find the beautiful moments God has placed in our midst. To nurture a friendship. To contemplate the presence of God in our lives.
Advent is the Church’s gift to us of space created for “stopping and looking.” We wait for the Christ child. Instead of barreling through the steps of our day, hollering, “Heavy load . . . coming THROUGH,” let’s give Our Lord a chance to unburden our load and draw us in to stop and look.