Well this practice of blogging hasn’t worked out quite as well as I had hoped. As you can tell it’s been over two months since I last posted something. Life has been busy and while I’ve often thought ‘I really need to post something this week’ or indeed I’ve had a few experiences from our study groups or ideas from worship that I really wanted to blog, none of them have actually been written up. With us now coming to the end of a secular year, and being in the first weeks of a new Church year (the Christian calendar begins with the first Sunday in Advent, November 27th this year) it's a good time to reflect on our expectations, or to put it another way, to ask the question “what are we waiting for?”
A common experience for me is never getting to everything that I would like to do. It happened all the time in university and seminary, and it's an experience that has followed me into congregational ministry. Did I expect things to be different? No not really. I think it's the experience of a great many people that we never quite get to do everything that we would like to. There are only so many hours in the day, and the way things are today there are so many options and possibilities to choose from, as well as so many distractions that it’s easy for our plans to exceed those few hours.
I know for me it also has a lot to do with my nature. I am both a dreamer and perfectionist, which means that I not only dream great dreams, but I want them to come into reality just as I have imagined them (and preferably in a timely manner). The end result is that I am rarely satisfied with where I am at a given time because I am constantly comparing where I am with where I want to be, or more precisely with where I think I should be. More troubling for me is the fact that I am also rarely satisfied with who I am. What am I waiting for? The day when I am who I think I should be, and the day when the world around me is how I want it to be.
My vision for both of these dreams comes from my Christian faith, which always leads me to pause. Because I believe in God who is my Creator, who I am supposed to be at any given time isn’t really up to me. Because I believe in the Creator, what the world is supposed to be is also not up to me. And because I believe and trust in the God made known in Jesus Christ, I know that God acts in the fullness of time to redeem the brokenness of Creation. The coming of Christ reminds us that God acts in God’s time, and in God’s way, not ours.
What am I really waiting for? For days when the knowledge in my mind will make its way more fully into my heart so that I can have a greater sense of peace as I wait in trust for the day when I and the world I live in will be all that God created them to be. I wait for days when I still hope for more from myself and the world, but have enough patience to appreciate where I am and who I am now. I will always wait and strive for God’s new, better and more just Creation, but I also wait for days when I will find it easier to experience God’s gracious acceptance of how Creation is now and of who I am now.
I think that's what I'm waiting for this Advent. What are you waiting for?