Good morning lionesses, hope all is well with you this day. We’re in the midst of final exams and holiday parties, wrapping up this first semester and turning our eyes toward 2013.
Before I jump in on our Advent thought for today, I want to just mention the importance of spiritual momentum. My past week was unusual because I did not spend a single morning on my back porch in the quiet. My parents were visiting and my mother is an early morning person like myself. She’s up before the sun, so there were no moments of solitude in the early hours. I could have designated a different place and time, but I didn’t, and it was my loss. Today was my first day back and I was quite disoriented. I had lost the daily rhythm and struggled a bit to get back into my reading and thinking and praying. And there was a sense of emptiness as well, realizing that I missed the daily treasures, that He had gone on ahead and now I had to run a bit to catch up. This might not make any sense, but it was a powerful lesson this morning of how spiritual momentum shapes our days.
A similar theme exists in Advent. We are waiting. We are waiting in the dark. But Henri reminds us that it is not a passive waiting, but rather a filled waiting, a waiting meant to enlarge us, a waiting that is alive and growing.
Most of us think of waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. The bus is late? You cannot do anything about it, so you have to sit there and just wait. It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when somebody says, “Just wait.” Words like that seem to push us into passivity.
But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. That’s the secret. The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun. Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment. Henri Nouwen, “Waiting for God”
Think about that. Think about the possibility that what you are waiting for is growing from the ground on which you are standing. That’s a profound thought, one worthy of holding today. Wait actively, not passively. Don’t throw up your hands and grow resentful, enter into the waiting and let it shape you. Hold it and let it grow. Lean into the longings, not away from them. Our longings and desires are meant to grow us, don’t be afraid of them.