SOME of you (one person, so 50 per cent) have asked to hear more about my family back home “The Lees”. OK, but this time I REFUSE to embarrass the Lees, as sometimes I feel like I’m one of the family. With 10 kids in our family, meal times were always very good. Very fast, but very good. Being in a big family teaches you virtues like how to push hard and fast to get what you want and to never ever give up, even if it looks like the whole dinner table is about to collapse. Our mother was so afraid to have us kids eat at home that her homephobia led to us Lees often eating out.
At first we unknowingly forced the “All You Can Eat” joint out of town. I still think they were mean not letting us sleep there. So we started gormandising at places our mother called “fast-food”. We would say to her “But Mummy, isn’t all food swallowed fast?”. All the fast-food chains were well prepared for the coming of the Lees and told their staff “Lock all doors if the Lees are coming!” Pizza Hut, Hungry Jacks, Hog’s Breath and even McDonald’s had a super-sized sign in their staffroom: “Lock all doors if the Lees are coming! And hide the ‘open 24 hours sign’.” Our last chance and the only place that hadn’t stood up against us, was KFC. I think they were chicken.
So we all agree to sensibly dine at KFC and were all on our best behaviour; until we got to the front door where there was a tempting sign “It’s finger lickin’ good!”.
Unfortunately us Lee kids ran inside KFC and started licking their customer’s fingers. They were right though! Licking people’s fingers in the middle of eating KFC is actually very tasty. If you want to try it I must warn you about something - people don’t like it.
It wasn’t our fault really. Their sign should have read “It’s finger lickin’ good when and only when you are lickin’ your own fingers”. Trust me, going around KFC licking complete strangers’ fingers is finger lickin’ dangerous.
For many Christians around the world, last Sunday marked the beginning of the Season of Advent; the four weeks of preparation before Christmas Day. Advent is a Latin word meaning “Coming”. Who’s coming? The Lees? Sadly, no. Who? Jesus Christ.
So many writers state that Advent is a time of “waiting”; I see what they mean and agree in a way, but I prefer the almost opposite view - Advent is a time of “preparation”. One of Murphy’s Laws is “Before you do anything you have to do something else first”. It’s humorous, but true.
Before you eat a meal, you have to prepare it. Before you prepare it you have to buy ingredients. Before you buy the ingredients, you have to have money. Before you have money, you have to have a job. Before you get a job, you have to get qualifications. Before you get qualifications you have to study. And before you study you have to have a snack, have a cup of coffee, ring someone, text someone else, play videogames, watch some TV … Life is entirely about preparation. Our whole life is one great preparation achieved by preparing countless preparations along the way. If you want a meaningful Christmas you have to prepare well in Advent.
There is no such thing as luck. The ancient Roman philosopher Seneca said luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If there is something good you have been deeply desiring to do for ages, even years, and you still haven’t done it yet and you don’t know why, there is something else you have to do first you really don’t want to do. If you do want to do that thing first also then it’s something before even that that you aren’t prepared to do.