Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Are You Waiting For?

I'm impatient.

For those who've worked with me or lived with me or sat as a passenger in a car I was driving, that's not exactly a surprise. It's something I've been working on, and it's definitely a challenge. There's an impatience directed towards myself and there's an impatience directed at others. I've been trying for years to get the words "What are you waiting for?" out of my system. The work is ongoing and may never cease.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I like being on time. I like getting things done on time. And like many, I can also procrastinate when I'm not drawn to a task. Sometimes the words "What are you waiting for?" help me get motivated to starting something. There's no problem when it's about motivating yourself into action. There are issues, though, when the words or thoughts are directed at others. I feel I should watch myself and my expectations because I'm not in control of others nor of life nor of God's plans. When my thoughts and words are pointed to others, it's as if I am directing their behaviours, and of course, life doesn't work that way. So for most situations, it's a practice that would best be left behind on this journey.

Yet... there are times when the phrase "What are you waiting for?" makes perfect sense. Times like now, for instance.

This year, Advent starts on Sunday, December 2 and as always ends on December 24. The word "Advent" comes from "To Come" in Latin. It's a church season named to focus on anticipating on what's "to come". It's all about waiting,  about expecting, about times pregnant with possibility. We should be willing to wait now. But for what?

What are you waiting for?

Rather than thinking of "waiting" as something to be avoided, there are times "waiting" should be enjoyed, cherished, appreciated. We can wait in anticipation, rather than in agitation. Advent is a season where waiting can lead to wonderful joys and insights. And maybe, we can figure out what it is we're waiting for.

Waiting is part of the gift of Advent. We await the gift of what is to come. Our waiting builds up hope. The time spent waiting opens a space for us to let the light inside of us grow, gestate, and expand until it bursts out of all of us.

When Christmas arrives, it brings us that joy in a real way, breathing, with a heartbeat of love that surpasses our comprehension. The wait for this annual reminder doesn't have to be marked by anxieties of store lines and parties and schedules. No, the wait can be simple and tender.

I recognize that there are times expectant mothers cannot wait for a baby to be born. But many times, moms talk about the dreams, the hopes, the joys of new life. That's the anticipation I like most about Advent. I like being part of those dreams, part of those hopes, part of the celebration and joy of new life.

The approach of Christmas doesn't have to be filled with an impatient waiting, but with a loving waiting. We can enter this darkest time of the year with joyful, edge of the seat anticipation. We can wait in the darkness, not forever, but for just a little while longer. Watching with our lamps lit. Waiting for the light to appear.

What are you waiting for?

May your Advent be a journey in the darkness, filled with waiting, and watching, and yearning for a love full of a light, a love full of life, a love where there is no darkness.

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