Thursday, November 29, 2012
Giving up Christmas for Advent
I'm still relatively new to the liturgical tradition. I've only been in the Episcopal church almost two years. I've experienced Lent twice, Advent and Christmas once, my own Confirmation and a host of other church traditions. I love all of it. Rest assured, I'm not drawn into the church by the glitz and glamour or the smells and bells if you will. I understand it isn't all wonderful. Nothing in this world makes me crazier or happier than the church.
Advent is my happy place. Truth be told, I'm horrible at waiting, but through some long dark nights and seasons of the soul, I've learned to wait better. I'm committed to Christ and most days I'm determined to see this journey to the end. One time in a moment of extreme spiritual maturity I screamed. Out loud. "I'm NOT waiting ANYMORE!" As clear as anything I've ever heard God said, "You can kick and you can scream or you can wait well, but you're going to wait."
I throw a holy fit semi regularly, but the great thing about God being the most important part of this life is the moment when I've worn myself completely out. And I collapse on my bed and say, "Okay. I'll do it your way. I'll wait when it's hard. I'll trust you when the nights are long. And I'll love you all the way." And I actually mean it. Then I go to sleep because I'm pretty sure God needs a break from me as much as I do.
There's never a season spiritually that we aren't waiting for something. Something to change. Something to happen. Something to stop happening. Waiting on the world to change or at least our corner of it is exhausting.
But there's comfort and growth in the times when the calendar is missing and the clock seems stuck at never going to happen.
And if I really, really listen carefully, I always hear the whisper of Emmanuel in this season as he speaks to this heart....."I'm waiting with you."