The Art of Waiting
Waiting! I don’t like it and I am very bad at it.
When I wait I tend to turn into an impatient, anxious and crabby monster.
Christmas shopping involves a lot of waiting. Hurry and get in the car…. So I can drive around the parking lot for 20 minutes and wait for a parking space. Hurry and get to the store… so I can wait in huge line at cash register #17 because the other 16 registers are not open. Hurry, drive home so I can wait in traffic and be totally stopped for 45 minutes on the 74 bridge. Yes, I know I sound like a very cynical person, but honestly I am not. I just don’t like waiting.
Advent is a season of waiting. Yes, you heard me right… a whole season dedicated to waiting! When I first heard of this I was not pleased, but as I learned more about it I began realizing my need to be more disciplined in the art of waiting.
In Luke we read the story of Anna (a prophetess) who waited years to see the Messiah. She hung out in the temple courts, worshipping, praying and waiting. I don’t think I would be able to do that. I would have lost hope. I would have left and went home. I would have missed seeing God’s promise of Jesus.
Yes, waiting is an art that needs to be developed in my life… I believe that. I don’t like it, but I believe it. So this Advent season I have challenged myself to be more mindful of waiting.
A few days ago I needed to get supplies from Target. I was waiting in line when a college kid stood behind me with a candy bar and a Snapple. I closed my eyes, breathed deep and offered my space in line to him because he only had two items. He was rather shocked by my request and tried to decline, but I was persistent. He took my place in line and thanked me for my generosity.
I know this is just a small thing of very little importance in the grand scheme of things, but I mindfully chose to practice waiting that day. Did I like it? Nope! But in that Target store I was reminded of how Anna waited for Jesus. She was faithful and patient. My heart softened a little bit as I remembered her determination to never give up hope. Maybe waiting isn’t so bad. Maybe I need to practice waiting more?
May this Advent season be one of many opportunities for you to practice the art of waiting. May it be a time to see more of Jesus in the little things. May it be a time that reminds you to never give up hope.
The Table is a Christian Church in Davenport, Iowa
A community of transformation:
from greed toward generosity
from violence toward peacemaking
from isolation toward neighborliness
from fear toward faith