Rethinking Advent Day 4: Time

Mallory MoonToday, our After School Club kids decorated the Christmas Tree in Hoffman Hall, the wing of our church that has the gym, as well as several children’s rooms and the youth room. “Time for it to be night!” Mallory declared as she held this moon ornament up to the window. In December, children always remind me about waiting and how the passage of time is so relative. Mallory wants it to hurry up and be night so that tomorrow will come faster…and then Christmas will come faster. I can’t believe it’s already December…actually, I can’t believe it’s already 2013! Where did the time go? Mallory knows. She can’t wait for time to pass. She wants to be old enough for youth group…or middle school…or to date or get a driver’s license. She wants it to be Christmas already and she can hardly wait!

Waiting is not something we do well in our society. We like to be going, going, going and doing, doing, doing. We get impatient when our phone screen takes more than 2 seconds to load. We DVR television shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. We rush and we try to find ways to be more efficient and use our time effectively so we don’t have to wait.

But, sometimes, when we skip waiting and try to get right to the main thing, we miss something beautiful.

Advent is about waiting. We are waiting for the promised Messiah. We are waiting and reflecting and searching our hearts. It is about encountering the holy in the quiet and the still and not yet.

Advent is hard in our society where store Christmas decorations go up in August and Thanksgiving night is a time to stand in line to get the biggest, best deal at Target. December gets busy and we forget about the waiting and rush to get to the main event. When you were a kid, it seemed like December 25 would never get here. Now that you’re an adult with to-do lists that thicken in December and all the responsibilities that go along with preparing a perfect holiday, you may easily miss out on the waiting as the day seems to come way too quickly.

Today, I’m reflecting on time spent waiting. Waiting gives us time to think and reflect and know ourselves better. I hope you’ll take time every day this month to wait a little.