I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. - Micah 7:7
We love our rituals. In fact, we need them. They give us meaning and routine and a certain level of comfort. They serve as reminders to the things we value and prioritize. I have a ritual with our fourth grader when I drop him off for school in the morning. As we drive up to the school building and get in the car drop off lane, I have him repeat the following three phrases - One at a time after me... I am good. I am smart. I am loved... after which, I enthusiastically say, "Yes you are!" And he descends into giggles and he's ready for his day. It's one of my favorite rituals.
This week, as I was dropping him off, we completed that ritual and pulled up to the curbside. Usually, a teacher or the school resource officer is ready to open the car doors of everyone who has pulled up to the curb. On this morning, they were a little short-staffed. And as we waited, he had his hand on the door handle and was quietly chanting to himself, "I like waiting. I like waiting. I like waiting."
It brought to mind our ritual as believers of the season of Advent. The waiting time. And I wonder how many of us do the rituals, both the religious and secular, with anticipation, but without truly reflecting on what it means to wait for the Christ child. Do we find ourselves trying to convince ourselves... I like waiting. I like waiting. With my family in another state, and several years of transition recently, I find myself missing the rituals of an Advent calendar and daily readings of scripture that help to center my mind and spirit in a way that helps me enjoy the wait.
What are your rituals of waiting? Do you have a Calendar? An Advent wreath at home? Will you watch your favorite Christmas movies and quote the birth story from the gospel of Luke with cartoon shepherd Linus? This week, I hope you will find time at least once a day to sit and reflect and wait in the holiness of the moments that pass before Christmas comes. And I hope that you will share those practices and moments with me when I see you next.
Prayer for Today
Lord, I like waiting. As I wait, send your spirit to fill me and make my waiting a holy moment. As I wait for family, as I wait in line, as I wait in worship, help me to spend that time with you and to grow in faith and love this advent season. Amen.