The Spirituality of Waiting.
We know that waiting is a difficult concept for us. Our culture demands fast food, fast cars, and fast answers. We are accustomed to having a world of information at our fingertips with laptops and smart phones. We expect pills that will immediately take the pain away. Simply put, we don’t like to wait.
I appreciate Advent for all sorts of reasons. I love the music, I love the missions, and I love the families that work and play together as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ!
But one of the main reasons I value Advent is that it puts us in touch with a deep spiritual reality that we too often neglect. The things of the Holy Spirit take time. Feasting on the Word is not a fast food meal, but an experience to be savored. Prayer is not a quick fix but an invitation to be changed from within over time. Forgiveness doesn’t happen overnight but can be quite a journey. Feeling at home in a local church takes “making a home” there, building relationships that last. A deeper relationship with God is not something we can download instantaneously.
During Advent, we become people who get in touch with that part of ourselves that is empty for God. Advent is counter-cultural in a time when we expect instant results. I pray that this year, we prepare a manger of the heart for Christ to be born anew.
Steve West is a husband, father, minister, musician, and writer who serves as senior pastor of Saint Mark UMC in Birmingham, AL. His blog, “Musings of a Musical Preacher,” is found at stevewestsmusings.blogspot.com.