Dec 03, 2009

Waiting is not my strength – unless, of course, it comes in the form of procrastination. I can gladly wait a long time for my next dental appointment.

Advent is about waiting and during this season, I want to be taught by God how to wait. My tendency is to rush things, to force results and to jump ahead of the patience of God. I need to learn the art of waiting for joy, waiting for hope, waiting for peace and waiting for love.

If I don’t learn this art, I risk settling for some cheap and transient imitation of the qualities and outcomes that I so desperately seek.

But waiting is not the same as inactivity. There is no sense of paralysis in the art of spiritual waiting.

When Christine and I were waiting for the births of our girls, we recognized that there was nothing we could do to speed up the process. But, we were still active in our expectant waiting for their arrival. There were things to learn and things to buy and all the ordinary stuff of life that still needed our attention. We bought groceries and paid bills and walked the dogs and showered and did the laundry and washed the car.

And we did all this in a growing awareness of the unique mystery of a new life that was fully present with us and, at the same time, not yet present to us.

Over the next three Sundays at Southpoint, we will ask the question, “What do we do while we wait?” Together, we will reflect on good and bad ways to wait.

Advent builds our capacity to wait in the presence of the mystery that is about to be revealed. Don’t rush this season. May we together learn to embrace this time with expectant anticipation of the revelation of God’s joy, hope, peace and love.

Isaiah 40

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

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