Happy feast of the Immaculate Conception!
As we continue along our Advent journey, I am sure most of us have heard one version or another of the song “Waiting in Silence, Waiting in Hope”. Let me tell you it is not just church words. There are many children and some adults waiting in Silence and waiting in Hope for their Christmas gifts! I am sure, especially now, that you have experienced waiting in lines and hoping they would move along or waiting for someone to leave a parking space. We wait for test results. Children wait for their birthday or a special party.
Seriously, if you think about it, Advent is a time of anticipation: waiting for the birth of the Messiah. We have great examples of people waiting in the scriptures. Anna and the generations that preceded her waited over 722 years to be rescued by the Messiah. Simeon, who does get to see the Messiah but had been praying and waiting many years for the promise to be fulfilled. Joachim and Ann, Elizabeth, and Mary, all perfect models of patient waiting. They never gave up on the promises of God.
What about us? How do we wait? For me, it is hard. I can be very impatient and want things done yesterday! Anyone else every experience that situation? I don’t think I am alone. But something I have learned and am continuing to learn is that “the plans God has for me are plans for the Good.” In this technological age we are so used to getting quick responses to our requests, questions, or needs. It is getting harder and harder to learn how to wait. Do you remember how you would wait to see a movie or wait for a day off from school? It seems as if Instant is the new buzz word for today. There is even a song by Wendy and Mary called Instant Breakfast! Cute but so true; give it a listen. Everything is instant these days, even instant Christian!
A point that I think we often forget is that God’s timing can be affected by our own receptivity. Sometimes, because of our sinfulness, immaturity, or selfishness, God’s timing may be delayed. Sometimes it is even delayed because of our resistance. You see, God knows what is best for us, what we need, and when we need it. WE sometimes get in the way! “The process of waiting reveals the subtleties of our heart and the attachments within it… We must stay engaged as we wait and share with God everything in our hearts.” (Rejoice! Finding your place in the Advent Story pp. 62)
A good Psalm to pray is Ps. 40. As you pray it see how you handle waiting. Do you give up waiting and try to do things on your own? Imagine what would have happened if Anna, Simeon, Joachim and Ann, Elizabeth, and Mary stopped waiting? Our salvation history story would be a lot different. Take the time to look at your style of waiting. Is it toe tapping or calm praying? You may be surprised as you wait for the coming of Jesus this Christmas.
Till next week,