Waiting feels negative. It feels like being put out, impatient, frustrated and late. It feels like someone else dropped the ball and you are the one paying the consequence: waiting for your appointment in the doctor’s office, waiting for your friend who is late, waiting for the light to turn green, waiting to finally understand the electoral college.
Yet, Advent is a time of recognizing the waiting. Not in the negative sense, and not in the “Waiting for Christmas sales!!” sense, but a bit more sacred. Like sitting vigil with a sick loved one who is hanging in the balance. It is on holy ground that we wait. And it feels differently, as though we are created for it. As if we have a part of our soul that was molded to this quiet anticipation. We don’t pretend the timeline is within our control. God’s people once waited for generations for deliverance, for the promised land, for the Messiah.
Now we wait for his return, and to put things right. We wait for him to finally bring justice and healing and perfect love. And just as sacred as this waiting is, remembering the waiting of our ancient people is to identify with the soul’s longing for its creator across different times, cultures and hairstyles. Still, just as God’s early chosen people thought the Messiah would come with a sword and an army of Navy Seals, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got this second bit of waiting wrong as well. Still, I trust the answer. Still, I anticipate the mysterious good.