Advent 2: Waiting

It's been snowing all day. It's still going. We have the potential to near 16 inches. Church was cancelled tonight because of it. Our pastor posted a message about longing on the church website so we could "be present" even though we couldn't gather (I haven't gotten to listen to it yet, but I hope to get a chance to in a few minutes).

My wife has been gone all week at a conference in California. It's been a long week. Our oldest son has been under the weather all weekend. Nothing has been bad, but it's been draining. Unfortunately the snow has delayed her flight a little. So I wait a little while more.

Advent is about waiting. We identify with the waiting of God's people for their Messiah to come. We read about Mary and Joseph awaiting the birth of their son, the Christ. We await the return of Jesus. For four weeks, we wait for Christmas to arrive.

I've said before (as well as have others) that it matters how we wait. In waiting for my wife's return this week, I had some successes and some failures. I know I snack more than I need when I feel the stress of taking care of everything by myself. I probably didn't handle all the things with the boys as well as I could have, either. But we also did well at keeping on track: four loads of laundry washed and put away (another in the machine right now), bathrooms cleaned, countless dishes washed, sidewalks shoveled of snow. We celebrated St. Nicholas Day, making cookies and taking them to neighbors. I got our youngest to two birthday parties. We got some gifts for family members. I got to bed at a reasonable time each night, and I reached out to others when I needed. There were things I could have done better, but for the most part I tried to wait well.

We wait for Christ to return. We wait for our brokenness to be healed. We wait to be made whole. We wait for peace. We wait for there to be no more pain, sadness, or sorrow.

We can wait idly; we can wait actively. I think we are called to balance both--just as Christ spent time being and doing. But we can be and do in not-so-healthy ways. The healthy way to be and do as we wait is to keep focused. To keep our eyes on Christ. When we wait in the overflow of His love, we wait well. Our waiting pours out to those we are around. They are touched by that love.

I need to be reminded--sometimes frequently--that how I wait matters. Sometimes I do it poorly. Sometimes I do it well. There is grace and forgiveness, of course, but life is best when in the moment, I am waiting well.

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