Today we begin the Season of Advent and today’s Gospel sets the tone – ‘Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.’ Advent is characterized by waiting.
Waiting! I’ve realised I’m not very good at that anymore. Maybe I never was! But in this instant-everything culture, I get frustrated if I have to wait for any length of time. Waiting is seen as time wasted and who can afford to waste time these days? But maybe a little waiting is a good thing? Here are five things I have found I can get from waiting that are worth reflecting on.
- Waiting reminds me that I am not the centre of the universe. Waiting gives me the opportunity to remember that other people have plans and priorities as well. I am not the focal point of the universe. That doesn’t make my plans unimportant, but it does put them in perspective.
- Waiting reminds me that God is in control. At the very least, waiting forces me to realize that I am not in control. And that can be a valuable opportunity to reflect on who is!
- Waiting reminds me that life is a gift. Forced to sit at a stop light for several precious minutes, I have a choice. I can choose to grumble and gripe about the loss of my precious time, or I can remember that those very minutes were a gift God gave me. Sure, this wasn’t how I’d planned to use them. But that doesn’t change the gift.
- Waiting reminds me that the present matters. Sometimes I can be too future-oriented, always focused on what comes next. But what about now? Next is in God’s hands. Now is what I have.
- Waiting reminds me that the future is bigger than I think. We have a finite amount of time, why waste any of it waiting for things to happen? Waiting can remind me that this life is part of something much larger and teaches me to value the time and relationships that I have. Waiting can teach me, if I allow it, to be involved and not to be a spectator in life!!
So, as we begin this Advent journey together, may I learn to celebrate the waiting and relish the anticipation. Happy Advent!