This past Sunday, the Christian season of Advent began.
But that which is to come has, by definition, not yet come. So we are required to wait, and waiting for 21st Century Americans is among life's most difficult challenges because we are used to getting things right now. I'm as guilty as anyone. After all, I recently ditched Time Warner Cable in favor of the faster service available through Google Fiber.
But there is value in waiting, in learning to wait, in what author Anne Lamott calls "grace eventually."
And to help you and me with that task I offer you this quiet essay on Advent and waiting by a Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina. (Notice that I waited until the fifth paragraph to give you this.)
Waiting, however, is not just a passive activity. We wait while we also imagine what we will do and how we will be different when the time for waiting is over. And we think about that for which we wait. I like the Paul Tillich quote from the essay to which I've linked you:
“Although waiting is not having, it is also having. The fact that we wait for something shows that in some way we already possess it. Waiting anticipates that which is not yet real. Those who wait, in an ultimate sense, are not that far from that for which they wait.”
So wait today. What you wait for is not far away.
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Speaking of waiting, I bet you've waited a long time to hear someone ask whether Bambi was Jewish. Well, here's your answer, which may well be yes, depending on how you read the clues.