Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two Weeks to Advent

Two weeks from today, Advent starts.  I may have mixed feelings about the holidays in general, but I'm starting to look forward to Advent. Here's the thing about waiting.  I may have been waiting a long time, but I feel like the amount of time that I have waited well is a lot shorter, and much more sporadic.  I look forward to Advent because it is a time to remind myself to wait well, and not simply to wait impatiently. I know more about waiting than I ever wanted to know, and I know much less than I should.  And I live it even less well than I know it.

The thing is, I feel stuck in an endless season of waiting.  I get so tired of it, and it's hard to deal with the ups and downs or even just the monotony. I forget that there is so much opportunity in waiting.  Advent is the season to work on waiting well.  It has a lot to teach us about waiting with expectant hope.

First of all, it is a season of penance. That can feel a little out of place sometimes given what a joyous event Christmas is.  But Advent is not Christmas.  Advent is preparation for Christmas, and a reminder that waiting should be much more than sitting on our hind ends until the calendar rolls around to December 25th. We should be preparing. Waiting should not passive. Waiting for a husband, or a child, or the Savior of the world and many other things that people wait for all of these things require us to set aside our selfishness and give of ourselves.  What better way to prepare for this than through the self denial of voluntary penance? I'll be honest, I rarely do this, but it could be very helpful, is what I'm saying.

Another thing about Advent that I love is Gaudete Sunday.  It is the second to last Sunday before Christmas, and it is all about rejoicing.  We don't praise God only when we get what we want. We don't praise Him so that He will give us what we want. We praise Him because He is worthy of praise, in the midst of the wait.

You know what I love about Advent that I didn't even know until I started writing this?  I knew it was a season of expectant waiting. We not only wait but we wait for God to work in ways that are beyond what we could have imagined. Because He is God and that's how He rolls. But what I didn't think about is what the word "advent" means.  Do you know?

"Advent" means "coming". I do not know what His answer is in your life or mine.  But He is coming. Not just to Bethlehem, but to our lives and in the midst of our problems. We may not know when or where or how, but we do know that it will happen.


6 comments:

  1. 2 weeks?!? Gah! It doesn't seem possible.

    I don't know what it is lately, but your posts have been so rich with deep thoughts and insight! The Lord is doing amazing things in and thru you as you wait.

    I love this post in so many ways. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Monica! You are writing to my heart right now! Love this post. This year I'm going to try to actually read "Come Lord Jesus: The Art of Waiting" by Mother Mary Francis. I've heard that it's life-changing, and it is actually a daily reflection to go along with the Advent readings, so every advent I try and every advent I fail! Not this year! Thanks for further inspiring me! You're amazing!

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  3. "We praise Him because He is worthy of praise, in the midst of the wait."
    Yes! Exactly! I really love this post and I am going to try very hard to "wait well" this Advent. It always tends to fly by and then Christmas sneaks up on me! i need to do this every day of the year! Easier said than done for sure. I may have to come back and refer to this as a reminder ;)

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  4. Waiting patiently? Me? No. I didn't do so hot at that at all. But I do need to be more prayerful this Advent (so I can get in a routine for everyday!). I hope that prayer buddies are starting soon, as that always helps me.

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  5. I love the waiting in Advent because we know He's coming. We know how long we have to wait. And, the Lord always delivers on his promise. Every year it reminds me that as I wait for certain desires to be fulfilled, He will deliver on His promise. Of course, I might not get what I want when I want, but I will certainly get what I need when I need it because He will deliver. He always does. Love this reflection. You are getting deep girl!!

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  6. I love that line: The season to work on waiting well. A perfect description of Advent! Thanks for the inspiration to learn to wait! I am going to be a bit more contemplative and less active this Advent (not my original plan) but it helps to have a reason to slow down, step back and be more of an observer this year!

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