Waiting. If you can’t bring to mind something you are waiting for right now, let me entertain you with a few ideas. Think about
waiting on results of a test
waiting on a visitor to arrive
waiting for your car to be serviced
waiting to get mail
waiting on a child to be born
Waiting is not super comfortable. I have never liked waiting because it denotes a feeling of knowing that there is something around the bend, but I can’t have it or see it or get to it yet.
Waiting, however is a big part of life. It’s becoming harder and harder to wait in this day and age, too. We have everything at our fingertips from literally having a remote control to switch the tv channel instantaneously to choosing the 1-day shipping option on Amazon. Waiting is becoming harder to do, but maybe sometimes easier to get around.
NOT waiting costs us, though, literally! It costs money for expedited shipping, it costs money for movie channels to get movies faster, it costs money for us to have internet at varying speeds wherever we are.
But what happens when we do wait? There are a lot of options for us during anticipation: we can wait with great joy; there may be an opportunity to grow ideas about what will come, good or bad; there might be a reason to reach out and share the excitement of waiting with someone else. There is also time to sit in prayer.
If you’re waiting on something, comfortable or uncomfortable, there is time. Advent is a time of waiting. For over 2000 years we have been retelling a story of waiting. Not just a story of one brave girl’s anticipation of a newborn baby, but of the world waiting on a savior. We’ve been taking time to make ready our hearts to remember the gift of that first Christmas over and over every year!!!
Today’s advent waiting comes with a different kind of challenge. Today, with all of our immediate gratification in this world, it is easy to forget to take time to remember waiting on the Lord. We are bombarded with Christmas specials, gifts we need to buy, decorations to put up, cookies to make. All of these things, in our recent traditions, are what make Christmas special.
However, our challenge, as Christians, is to take time in the waiting…to remember what we’re waiting for. To take some mindful, prayerful moments to imagine that first Christmas. To bring to our hearts the joy of the life that was born on that first Christmas because we know the sacrifice that was made for us at the end of it.
We have to be very intentional. We have to be intentional on our mats in order to move with strength and safety and maybe even grace. And we can use that practice of intentionality off the mat, especially in this season of waiting, so that we can move through this season with praise and awe and remembrance of what ultimately came of the gift of that night so long ago in a stable after generations and generations of waiting.
Take a few moments right now…comfortable or not, to breathe and bring to mind the gift we have in this time…time to wait and to pray and then to move with intentionality.
Psalms were poems, hymns, and prayers people sang and recited for years before Jesus’s birth. They express all kinds of feelings and lamentations and hopes of God’s people throughout different times in history.
How fitting is this one for our circumstance as waiting Christians even today:
“Make me to know your ways, Oh Lord, teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation, for you I wait all the day long” (psalm 25)
Lord, yes, help us to be patient as we wait on you with prayerful hearts.