Advent - Creating a Space in Our Souls for Christ
by Nancy Kane, Assoc. Professor at Moody Bible Institute
In our high-paced, technological world that allows us to accomplish things faster and more efficiently, we still find one thing remains – waiting. We wait to receive that book we ordered so quickly online. We wait in the self-checkout section of the grocery store where we can purchase our goods faster. We wait for a reply on that last text we sent. We wait for the call back on the interview. We wait!
Efficiency expert Michael Fortino offers the following dismal scenario for the average life lived in the United States. In our lifetime we will spend: five years waiting in line, two years playing telephone tag, six months sitting at red lights, seven years in the bathroom, six years eating,three years in meetings, and eight months opening junk mail.
If we do the math, between waiting in line, playing telephone tag, and sitting at a red light, we have spent about 7 ½ years! In the midst of all our technological advances, we still have to wait.
Yet there are times when waiting is fruitful and purposeful. This week marks the beginning of Advent as we look toward the celebration of Christ’s birth. During the Advent season, we reflect on the stories of the patriarchs, kings, prophets, and priests waiting for the coming of the Messiah and its fulfillment through Christ’s birth, and we look with expectant waiting Christ’s final and glorious return. In Mark 13:34. Jesus describes this kind of waiting saying, “It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.” Like the doorkeeper who is assigned to keep watch while the master is away, we are instructed to be alert so that we don’t miss Christ’s coming in ways that we could not ever have imagined!
Yet waiting for many of us can feel difficult, if not impossible. In the life with Christ. waiting is a necessary and humbling aspect of our journey with Him. Advent is a time to practice the discipline of waiting and learning to be still. It begins with allowing yourself to become aware of the situations that you need to wait for something to be realized, and resolving to watch for Christ’s answer and presence in those very places. Where is the place in your life right now where you need to wait? Where do you long for God to do ”exceedingly more than we would ever ask or expect”?
In all of this there stands an invitation from Christ to each one of us - to take moments to pull back from the busyness and stress of life to reflect on what it meant for Christ to break into our dark and confusing world and bring his light, life and love to us each us personally and uniquely. This season, take time to be still: ask God for the courage to sit in the waiting: invite Him to speak to you through his Word in these moments. He is closer to you than the air you breathe.
Come, O God, into this world with healing and peace.
Come into our lives with joy and passion.
Startle us again this year, O God, with the truth of your Advent.
And give us quiet moments in the busy and noisy days ahead
to hear the singing of angels.
Nancy J. Kane, L.C.P.C.
Grace Family Counseling Center