Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Adventurous Waiting

As children, waiting for Christmas is a fun way to pass the time on dreary winter days. It's an excitement that keeps you guessing about what is to come, keeps you from sleeping, and causes you to question every package that gets tucked under the tree. "Is it for me?"  my children ask out loud, "What is it?"  They cannot stop themselves from asking even though they know they will not get an answer.

As adults, waiting is not quite so much fun.

The idea of sitting in a waiting room is generally less than appealing. Unless that is, you have a sitter for your children.  Then, if you are like me, you find the stack of People magazines and pray the most recent date is well beyond 2010.

Really, though, the waiting room can be boring, and only gives you time to dread being in the exam room. You sit wondering, "Will it be paper or cloth today?  Will the material actually cover my body, or only part? How will I choose what to cover?"

There are so many things to wait for these days: we wait for our food, we wait to buy our things in line, we wait to hear back from the mechanic or the doctor or a family member. We humans seem to be in a state of perpetual tarrying.

Yet, how easily the concept slips through my fingers when it comes to this season of advent.

I often focus on the fact that Jesus came to this world as a baby, a fact that is fascinating and supernatural and baffling, but overlook the wonder of Advent.

God's people had been waiting for so long for a Messiah, just as His people now wait. What I wonder, though, is if focusing on what we expect to come causes us to lose some of our now. I know that's how it is for me, anyway. Sometimes I get so caught up what I want to happen next that I miss the miracle of life that is happening right in front of me.

Advent is the season in which we remember the world waiting for Light to come into darkness, the gift of Jesus to the world. You know, though, even Mary had to wait to meet the Messiah. Joseph had to wait to see how things were going to work out. The shepherds didn't even know they were waiting! The wise men didn't get to see Jesus until he was a toddler. There was still much waiting even after the birth of Christ. It was, in fact, an adventure.

Advent and adventure have the same root word, and that has to be significant. I believe that our waiting, our longing for Jesus, should have a sense of excitement driving us forward. To be expectant of the promise God has made, to be excited for an unknown future that our amazing God has planned for us that ends with us and Him together in eternity is an awesome thing to be waiting for.

Advent is not just a time to sit and think on people of yore and wonder how comfortable that dang donkey was for Mary. No! Advent is a time to embrace the gift of Christ and to be thrilled by the fact that that gift is for everyone.

The picture of Advent that has been painted is one of calm and peace, and that is part of this season. It's also important to remember that people were also just living life, though. They were living their messy, complicated, mundane, beautiful lives while they waited. Just like me, just like you.

I don't know about you, but I've got a lot going on in my life right now and most of it I did not have planned. I am not going to miss out on Advent though, and I'm not going to sit back and pine for another adventure. I'm going to live the adventure God has placed before bravely, and unknowingly (maybe with just a few tears sprinkled here and there). I'm not going to worry about what I've not gotten done, or what I could have done better. Instead,  I'm going to focus on the work that Christ has done and rejoice in the waiting.

It is vital to Christian living to pause and reflect on Advent, to remember that though we are waiting for Jesus to come again the fact that He will is all that really matters. It won't matter how it looks when He comes back because it will be different than any of us could imagine.

So, we wait while living the adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Kara! A friend's one month old baby passed away yesterday, very unexpectedly. It's shaken all of us who know and care for the family. This post filled me with hope and a new perspective - even this awful situation is a time of waiting for God's mercies to unfold.