Monday, December 14, 2015

Advent: Learning to Wait

Advent is about waiting.
Who likes to wait? In this fast-paced era that we live, waiting seems like the “ninny” thing to do. Action is the “strong” thing to do. Move, lunge, act, grab, get things done–that’s “push”.
Ok. To wait a little is doable, even commendable; say…five minutes, even ten. But after that, come on! Let’s do something about it!
Of course there is the “lazy” kind of waiting, the waiting of the indolent, the slothful, those for whom any form of action spells suffering beyond endurance.
But that’s not the kind of waiting I’m talking about; not even the former; but the kind that waits with great purpose.
There are times in life, that the quality of the goal requires waiting.  Sometimes, if we reach a precious goal too quickly, we tend to undervalue it.

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How many times we see the very young enter marriage without due preparation, only to divorce a couple of years later? Was it the fault of the great Sacrament they entered into? Or the fact they didn’t wait long enough, and didn’t prepare sufficiently for so priceless a gift?
There was the time not so long ago, when credit cards weren’t the norm, when something precious and costly came with a lot of saving and waiting. Once purchased, the acquisition retained such value, that it was passed on as an heirloom, and became a family tradition.
Waiting with purpose is a strong thing to do, a wise thing to do.
While we wait we endure. While we wait we mature. While we wait we tame, and purify the fires of desire, and with clearer minds, adjust our perception and our expectation. If what we wait for is the “real McCoy”, we ultimately come to it with love, augmented by respect. If a“fizz-out”, we say a prayer of thanksgiving that we dodged that path.
It is so with Advent. Advent reminds us of the long historical period of waiting for the promised Messiah, the expected of Nations, the Savior, the Emmanuel, God with us.
Every Jewish child grew up under that great “wait”.
And now that Christ Jesus has come, the Church likes to remind us of that period of waiting for the greatest gift the world has ever and will ever receive, the gift of God walking in the flesh alongside us, and remaining with us in the Eucharist.
In Advent, the Church invites us to take notice of that long wait for He of whom the Evangelist says:
In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God and the Word was God…all things were made through Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John: 1:1-4.
In Advent, the Church urges us to do two things: one, to take a break from the noise, the ceaseless activity; and two, to fight the indolence that keeps us from entering into ourselves, into that “core” of our spiritual beings where the heart meets God, and with whose help we are able to gage what in life is worth waiting for.
Let us, every Advent, learn to ask Him to teach us to prayerfully wait, to wait with purpose for all the good things His mighty hand has for us in this life and in the next.

By M. Taylor

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