Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Wait Watchers

Waiting. Some of us just can't stand it. We can't wait in a line, on a phone, or for a table without getting our cranky pants on. You've seen it yourself, I'm sure. "I need it now and you're not facilitating my needs fast enough!" Black Friday was as black as ever this past week when an angry mob's impatience led to the death of a Walmart employee. Death... in a department store. Hordes of people trampled over a man and killed him in a reckless pursuit of things. May God forgive us, and bring peace to his soul and his family! This waiting, however, is absolutely critical to the Christian way of life. Advent begins our whole Liturgical Year as Catholics with a call to patient waiting. It's a period of watchfulness for Christians across the planet. This holy expectancy is at the very heart of a believer. It's name is Hope, and if Hope is not filling the cavern of the soul, then a person tries filling it, in vain, with something else. But no thing can fill us like Hope. It is not a waiting is not in order to clutch and grasp at a thing the moment our turn is up, but to receive the gift of a Person, like a sunrise fills the eyes of a sentinel at the start of the new day. So what will be our posture, our attitude, our position this Advent? Will it be restless with activity (probably at some point), or will rest dominate these weeks? Will we be a churning sea of whitecaps and swells of impatience, or a quiet pool that reflects the sky? In the quiet things are seen more clearly. I know I can be restless, not just in this time but in all my daily work. Thank God for our newborn baby boy, who by his very existence has caused me to put the brakes on more often. He gives me cause to waste time, to simply be with him for an hour, or two, or three; just gazing at each other, smiling, sleeping, nestling in my arms. What a meditation he has afforded us this Advent! We must all become as the little children, utterly dependent on the Father in Whose arms we are invited to rest and receive. And just to hammer it home, I'm building another devotion into my Advent schedule: the Friday Fast. It will become my Desert Day. I will be "unplugging" myself each Friday of this season - no blogging, internet, iPhone, radio, iPod, TV.... nuthin'. I'll only use technology for teaching and of course, the cell is on for emergencies at home. Anybody game for this? I could use a little team support! May this holy time be a fruitful time for us all! He is coming, may He find us watchful and waiting, preparing our hearts, sweeping then clean, warm, open and ready for His Abundant Love to come down and to be born in the Bethlehem of our hearts.
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