Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Word of the Season: Wait

I've been torn between a "Word of the Week" post (but couldn't decide on a word), and a post about Advent. But it seems the Word of the Week takes care of both. Wait. And so a compromise, a word for the season.

Advent is a relatively new idea to me but over the past few years has become a beautiful and meaningful part of my holiday observance. Actually it's more like Christmas itself now has a proper place, a frame of reference within the bigger picture. It puts all the prophecies in perspective. And it speaks to me today, as I learn to wait, not only for the celebration of his birth, not only his coming again, but everyday, learning to wait on God and what he has for me to learn and do.

And yet . . . how do we wait? Is waiting passive? Or is it active? Is it a time to sit back and rest and do nothing? Or is it a time of doing, of moving ahead in obedience, of learning and preparation of our own hearts? Or is it both?

Having watched my sister go through five pregnancies, it seems waiting involves both. There was the doing - the planning, picking of names, preparing the nursery. And yet, I'm sure she'd say the resting was also important. The times of just praying and getting used to the idea, first of being a parent, then thinking about how each addition would change their family dynamic. Yes, it seems waiting well involves both a sense of expectation as well as preparation.

My last thought about waiting. I always thought of myself as a patient person. I'm not sure patience can be equated with waiting though. And as I've pondered this word over the past few days, I'm certain that waiting is more a skill to be learned than an innate character trait.

So that's it - the Word of the Season. What's on my mind these days! Something for us all to ponder during this season: how are you waiting?