A Spirituality of Waiting

Waiting for just about anything these days is rare.  The internet, cellular communications and cable TV make waiting something of the past.  That's why those moments when we don't get what we want are especially tough.  Apparently Verizon Wireless technical support and the local market didn't get the memo: we don't like waiting.

We don't like waiting for good news:

  • Did she get my gift?

  • Did I get into Yale?

  • Did the drapes go up today?

  • Did I get the job?

We also know how it feels to wait for bad news and we don't like that much either.  Examples include:

  • Did the results of the blood work come in?

  • Did she get fired yet?

  • Will we get a raise for next year?

  • Did the stock market tumble again?

Which is why I propose a new vibe of spirituality- one of waiting.

Many Christians celebrate a season called Advent just before Christmas.  In my house, we look at Advent as the anti-Christmas.  I'm not opposed to the man in the red suit or the gifts that he brings but I've found that my kids are so hyped up over the wrong things that Advent becomes a necessity for calming them down.

My son said the other day, "I don't like Advent.  It's boring Dad."  Precisely!  It feels boring because it provides results which are the farthest thing from instantaneous.  The benefits of Advent are:

  • Increased sense of prayerfulness

  • More consistent attitude of gratitude

  • Frequent moments of community (gathering around the Advent wreath, etc.)

  • Less focus on Santa, Reindeer, and Candy Canes

With these benefits in hand, my family uses Advent to get ready for the real reason for Christmas- the celebration of Jesus' birth.  We ease into Christmas rather than sprinting to its post-Thanksgiving sales.  It's not easy but I have to tell you, it works!

As TDS is a productivity blog, I commend Advent to you as the most productive way of spending the weeks prior to Christmas.  It's a bit of an aquired taste so don't expect immediate results but it does work.  Go out there and find an Advent wreath.  Make a decision to dial back your shopping for this year.  Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth.  And wait.

Thoughts for the Road

So how's your spirituality of waiting?  In what ways can you turn waiting into an art form?  How can waiting become a blessing in your life?