Don’t you hate waiting? We are always waiting for something. Waiting for school to end, waiting for Mom to make dinner, waiting for our date to arrive, (or waiting for him to go home), waiting for that letter to come, waiting, waiting, waiting. We even have different words to describe different waits. We may be waiting patiently, waiting fearfully, dreading, anticipating, biding our time, biting our nails, counting the hours or even wishin’ and hopin’ and plannin’ and dreamin’.
The Bible is filled with advice for the wait-lorn. We waiters have been compared to everyone from bridesmaids to farmers. In all of His parables, Jesus makes it clear that not only will we have to wait for Him, we won’t know how long that wait will last. And we’d better not be napping when He shows up. Clearly, waiting is part of the plan for you and me.
Why did God invent waiting? He didn’t have to, did He? The creator of all things could have just as easily formed a creation where everything we needed was available immediately. Where needs and desires were fulfilled faster than you could order lunch at the drive through. He made the rules, why did He invent time out?
The time between here and there is ours to fill. God makes many suggestions, both directly and indirectly, telling us how He would like us to use that time, but the actual moment-to-moment decisions are ours. We can sit and fret, we can indulge ourselves in amusements, we can work at our jobs 24/7, or we can use that time to fulfill God’s two great commandments: love him and love our neighbor. We can use the golden talents that He gave us or we can bury them in the back yard.
Perhaps this isn’t a time of waiting at all. Perhaps this is a time of preparation, of training, of tending to what’s growing in the garden (pick your metaphor…I couldn’t decide). We are here to make ourselves ready for eternity, and we do that by spending our lives reaching out to God and to each other.
So, here’s my Advent wish for you: I hope that your next four weeks are filled up with joy, with good works, and with fellowship. I hope that you wake up on Christmas morning, not worn out by shopping , but by service. And that you are filled with happiness not because you got that power tool you’d been dreaming about, but because you are surrounded by family and friends. May you use this time and your own golden talents joyfully and fruitfully.