Its already the second Sunday of Advent, supposedly a time of waiting, but it seems sometimes more like the slide that sends us straight into Christmas, with more activities and events than any other time of year. Waiting should be long and maybe even a little uncomfortable, shouldn’t it?
I remember, as a teenager, waiting for rides to events at the church, at the end of our long drive-way. Being on time (read: early) was bred into me, so I would usually be out at the highway well in advance of the expected arrival time. Being on time was not necessarily bred into the young man who picked me up in an aging Dodge pick-up truck. I would look with longing down the road to the corner he would come out of, scrutinizing every set of headlights, trying to identify his. He almost always came eventually, but I was more often than not wet, or completely snow covered, by the time he finally pulled to a stop in front of me.
I do wonder now, why it was that it was my responsibility to be at the end of that driveway, rather than his to come up and get me. None the less, I waited a lot (at least two nights a week). It was never comfortable and it was never quick. It was waiting which, from time to time, ended in a disappointed walk back up the drive-way with the nagging feeling I hadn’t started waiting soon enough.
If advent is really about waiting, maybe it shouldn’t be parked in front of the busyness of Christmas with its rush of activities, services, and obligations, overflowing it’s banks to totally erode the waiting of Advent. Maybe Advent should happen in the dog days of summer, when the kids are more than ready to go back to school and boredom has set up camp in the back yard. Then, maybe, we could really appreciate and experience waiting.