I’m trying to wait well this Advent season. In my small group, we have looked at this theme of waiting and it has challenged me. Reflecting on those who waited and longed for the Messiah so long ago has helped me get in contact with my own temptations to rush and be ahead of myself. Waiting in line can feel like torture beyond torture as I catalogue the many things I have ahead of me, mostly not at all urgent, just a part of the master plan I’ve concocted for my highly efficient day!
One sermon I heard by John Ortberg gave the challenge to approach our times of waiting during Advent with a contemplative bent. In lines while shopping, on hold while on the phone, waiting at traffic lights or in waiting rooms, Ortberg suggested refraining from looking at the phone or allowing irritability to consume our thoughts. Rather, during those moments, try leaning into the longing or contemplating what we are really waiting for. He even suggested driving in the slow lane!
This week, it has meant a wide range of thoughts; from looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations to poignant thoughts about the parents of the Palestinian children who were so brutally killed. But waiting well has taken me out of the impatient rush and into a different space. A space that breeds compassion and roundedness. I like that better than constantly pressing to simply get stuff done.
What does waiting well mean for you?