Waiting, we all do a great deal of it during our lives. It is not always pleasant, often very annoying and yes it can be bone wearying and tedious. Be it at airports, hospitals, doctors’ offices etc., it is often a chore to just sit and stare. Looking at magazines often only makes it worse. We love arrivals, when the tension of waiting is over. You can’t have one without the other however, sort of like hot and cold.
A time of expectation
Advent is also about waiting and I believe that the times that we sit in a space and wait for ‘something’, it can bring to mind that this is an important aspect of our lives. When we pray, it can often seem like we are yet again, waiting, it is just on the Lord this time and we endure it, or run seeking to escape from the experience of ‘nothingness’. We can learn that we can wait on the Lord, if we look deeply into our lives and find out we do it all the time in just about every area of our lives, we just have to, we have no choice. In praying and waiting on the Lord we can refuse the grace filled invitation to deepen our intimacy with infinite love.
It is in our making that act of faith in the Lord that our waiting is fruitful. That gives us the courage and yes, allows us to receive the grace to simply ‘be’ in God’s presence. Perhaps we will slowly ponder a verse from the Scriptures. Or if Catholic or Orthodox will finger our rosaries to calm the body down, allowing the mind to focus and come alive and to draw in scattered energies. Or looking at nature or have a calming cup of tea; it does not matter what we do if we are seeking the Lord and a deeper love and relationship that often will go beyond concepts and words.
Advent is a time of expectation, of something that is beyond our wildest dreams, yet it can also seem boring if we do not slowly allow ourselves to sit, wait and soak in the meaning of this blessed season. Christmas is from December 25th to Jan 6th. Advent is the four weeks proceeding this Holy Day. I think we lose a lot as Christians, when we jump into the Christmas season and its culturally driven chaos, and in the process losing the grace, peace , joy, and yes the discipline of just being, just waiting on the Lord.
The gift giving is good, the sharing is wonderful, the parties are often healing for many, yet if that is all it is, then for those who believe that Christmas means Christ-Mass, miss out on a great deal. Then there are those who get depressed at Christmas. Perhaps for some it would help if they did forgo all of the above if possible, but focus on the actual meaning of it all.