The object zoomed by my face so quickly I almost missed it. The familiar collision of plastic against wall jolted me. Escape. Thoughts of turning to flee the church nursery whizzed through my head. Is there any place to escape the spinning, dropping, banging, sloshing excitement that is bottle flipping?

“It was a capper on the first try, Mom!” Breathless my five-year old stands beaming at me.  That bottle that had zoomed past my unexpected presence at the nursery door had landed upside down, on its cap in the middle of the changing table.  “That was so awesome!” chimed in my seven-year old. My choice words for the experience were better left unspoken, and thankfully in that moment my brain knew enough to keep my mouth shut.

This bottle flipping trend has taken deep roots in our household.  For those unfamiliar with the craze a quick Google search will yield pages of videos and tricks that can be attempted by flipping bottles of water. Half-full water bottles litter the places where I used to trip on toys.  When my boys are presented with a vast array of junk food to purchase with their weekly 50 cents of snack cart money, they choose a bottle of water. Most moms would raise their hands and thank Jesus for a wise snack choice, but I know.  I know better.  Soon the bottle will be flying and flipping onto every surface my boys encounter.  Even Christmas lists include items such as, “A case of Gatorade, so I can drink it and then flip the bottles.”

“A weary world rejoices.” Words to a familiar Christmas song drift into my thoughts. As silly as it sounds, this bottle flipping business has worn me down as a mom.  The tension between my weariness and my boys’ celebration at each landed trick wears me down.  My saving grace each day comes with the bedtime declaration that bottles need to be on the kitchen table as my kids start their bedtime routine.

As we walk through the Advent season, we are starting our new year. We stand at attention, staring December straight in the face.  “A weary world rejoices.” We lament over our weariness, our need for a savior, our desire for restored hope, erased pain, and renewal.  We are a weary world, yearning to be in a place where we can rejoice.

Unexpected deaths, unexpected funerals, unexpected grieving … A weary world.

Refugees, a world away, fleeing as the familiar world crashes down … A weary world.

An empty bank account, a pile of bills, a lost job, disappointment … A weary world.

Harsh words, fighting words, confusion, conflict, hope, an election … A weary world.

Illness, fatigue, addiction, mundane routine … A weary world.

Chaos, clutter, repetitive noise stealing the silence … A weary world.

Similar to my frustration and exasperated attitude toward my boys’ newest hobby, the weariness that we may all be feeling this time of year makes it difficult to think about rejoicing.  But that sloshing water brings waves of excitement into our midst.  Somehow, although brief, my husband and I exchange smiles as someone exclaims, “Capper!”  We watch as little hands accomplish what to them seems impossible.  We respond to the thrill of the hope that maybe on the next try the newest flip trick will be a success.  We listen to the monotonous, repetitive sounds of rushing water and we sing:

All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Just come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream of life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As the deep cries out to deep, we sing…

Come, Lord Jesus come