December 1, 2021
Does it seem to you that we spend a lot of time waiting? Waiting in line, waiting on the phone, waiting in traffic…the list goes on:
“Your call is important to us…”…hmm, really?
Cattle gates at Costco!?!
The light is green!
Why are things taking so long?!?
Our culture is not one of patience for the most part, so all this waiting can spark irritation, frustration and even anger.
The pandemic seems to have heightened my awareness of waiting; over the last 21 months we have been stuck in a holding pattern. We wished for things to be safer, we waited for schools and businesses to reopen, we held our breathes until the first wave passed, we anxiously checked for test results when loved ones were sick, we looked forward to the development of a vaccine, we dreaded the coming of yet another wave, and still, we wait for things to get back to our “normal” existence. The waiting in this case certainly sparked frustration of its own, but also fear and anxiety,
Here we are then, in the season of waiting – Advent. The four weeks leading up to Christmas are generally a time of anticipation and excitement. These feelings are very much different from the waiting we have been doing over the past two years. We look forward to Christmas and spending time with family and friends. This is especially true this Advent, after the restrictions in place over last Christmas. Our faith tradition speaks to waiting for the arrival of Jesus at Christmas in hope, peace, joy and love; these are the themes of the four weeks. Of course, this waiting is symbolic; Jesus has already come, we know the rest of the story and we know God’s presence in our lives. Perhaps, we can use this knowledge to transform our experience of waiting in other areas of our lives. It is certainly worth a try.
As the weeks of Advent unfold, my wish is that you find hope, peace, joy and love in your preparations for Christmas. Remember that the One that we wait for is the One who is already here. Here to help us with the irritations, frustrations, fears and worries that are part of our waiting.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.