Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent, Wait!

Is this December passing by more quickly than previous years?

Seems like it to me.

I remember when December was the month that lasted forever. "How many days till Christmas?" Bantam7 asks me each morning, and while the days seem to crawl at his age--how I remember!--at mine, they fly by, like calendar pages in an old movie, being ripped off in fast motion to show the passage of time.

Advent is supposed to be a season of waiting, of expectation. Pregnancy is the image that comes to mind--slow and ponderous, just as Mary pondered miracle and promise, great with child and expectation as the donkey plodded toward Bethlehem.

We live in a day of speed and instant everything, impatient with anything traveling at a donkey's pace (or a hen's). We are impatient with God, with others, with ourselves. If we have to wait, it means something has gone wrong.

Waiting seems like a waste of time, which we always wish for more of. Waiting means longing for something we don't have yet, and we hate not having it yet. Waiting can be a time of anxiety, when we don't know what will happen at the end of our wait. Waiting isn't fun.

But waiting is good. Scripture is full of admonitions to wait on the Lord. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. To long for Christ's return...for God to work in this situation...for health...for peace...this is waiting with a purpose, with a prayer, with expectation. Like Mary.

But how, in a busy season and in a culture of speed, do we wait?

Well, you could slip into a quiet church and listen to the silence and ponder. I like to imagine this one.

You could do family devotions every night during Advent, building expectation and creating beautiful memories of waiting together. This just doesn't happen at our house, though.

Or, you could make lists! I love lists. So how about an Advent list--not a Christmas list of material goods--but a list of concerns, worries, people, situations that we can't control. Let's write them all down, put them before God, and tell him we are going to wait on him to make the next move. Really just wait. Not pray through the list every day. (Okay, we can turn that worry that won't quit into prayer, but we are not pulling out this list to go over it daily.) We are going to WAIT on the Lord during Advent, and see what He will do. Or not do.

Perhaps our waiting will change nothing, outwardly. Perhaps each situation will stay the same, or even get worse!

But I suspect that the waiting will change me.  And that, I think, is the point of waiting.

And of Advent.

 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart
 and wait for the LORD.
Ps. 27:14

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post...seems like I wait a lot...God will do "in His own time". Worrying and fretting can accomplish nothing...Love, Pianomum