What is the opposite of waiting, I wonder?
Is is rushing forward? Planning ahead? Being especially productive? Getting it done!?
Like every expectant mother understands, waiting is hardly passive. Every day the life growing inside of her changes her into who she is mysteriously becoming. The person she carries is making her – literally shaping and expanding her – into a new creature.
New life can’t be rushed along in a more productive or efficient manner. No, this mutual growing of mother and child; the daily carrying and being carried; the mysterious knitting together of a new and unique life, takes an ordained amount of minutes and hours and days and nights.
And so the expectant mother waits and marvels. She waits and prepares. She waits and readies herself for what she cannot yet fully see or comprehend but knows to be firmly true: One day soon she will see – face to face – the life who has changed her from the inside out.
In due time she will meet the remarkable person she has carried along inside of her for so long.
This is Advent waiting: The expectant people of God preparing for the fullness of heaven to be finally seen. We long to meet the Person whose spirit has been growing and shaping us from the inside out. We prepare to meet the one we have hoped for – the God who has promised to finish – to knit together for good – the dreams he started in the lives of his people.
What is the opposite of waiting, I wonder? I think the opposite of waiting is distraction, denial, and disbelief.
Can you imagine a woman being so distracted, so busy or preoccupied, that she forgets she carries a child? Can you imagine a mother denying that what lives and grows inside of her is not worth her preparation or attention? Can you imagine a people thinking that the life planted in them will not change their shapes and forms forever?
Advent can’t be rushed, but it can certainly be missed.
There is a dawning that is soon to come, and somehow, mysteriously and profoundly, the people of God are an integral part. We don’t know the day or the hour, but we know there will come a moment when we finally see the unseen, and the whole world finally meets Jesus face to face.
There is a life that lives within in the people of God that mysteriously grows, shapes, and knits us together from the inside out. His name is Immanuel. But do we see Him? Do we want Him? Will we make room for Him to shape and expand our lives into something holy and beautiful?
Or will we be a distracted and discontented people? Disenchanted? Disconnected from the God who holds all creation in his hands until the fullness of time?
Peace to you and yours, as you wait and wonder about these things this season.