Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"We don't wait well. We're into microwaving; God, on the other hand, is usually into marinating." -C. Peter Wagner

As I've been walking through the Christmas season this year, I've been particularly aware of the sense of waiting that fills the advent season. The Christmas story is filled with waiting.

The Israelites waited for the promised one, the coming King, for over 400 years. I wonder if they'd given up, thinking that God had failed to "come through" or if impatience filled them. I wonder if they forgot the promise over time or if they still passed it on from generation to generation with the same sense of anticipation. I don't like to wait a couple months for something, let alone 400 years!

Then there's Mary and Joseph. Greeted by an angel and promised a child and yet they wait for His arrival. I'm sure if God wanted to, he could have done it another way but He chose to bring His son into the world through humanity's reproductive process, couched in waiting, anticipating and preparing.

Then there's the shepherds. Oh, and don't forget the wisemen. They were waiting too.

Generally, as North Americans, we don't do well with waiting. We grumble in lines (I hold firm that it's the poor service that agrivates me, not the waiting...you believe me, right!?), we road rage, we have instant coffee and fast food, and we use instant tellers and high speed internet.

Instant. Now. Forget waiting.

I freely admit that I'm not a patient person. Once I've made my mind up about something, I want it, well, like yesterday. But God waits. Maybe there's something for me to learn about waiting this Christmas season. If advent is about preparing - not just 'for the season' with baking, shopping and decorating but truly about preparing my heart to fully experience the joy of Jesus at Christmas - then perhaps, just perhaps, there's something to be learned about the discipline of waiting this Christmas.

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