From David Timms’ book Sacred Waiting: Waiting on God in a World that Waits for Nothing (Bethany House, 2009):
Advent provides an opportunity for us to pause, reflect, and wait on God – the One who comes to us in the flesh – in fresh ways. For most of us, the Christmas season usually denotes the busiest and most chaotic time of the year. With just a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, there’s no time for quiet reflection or downtime. From Black Friday (the crazy bargain-hunting that begins the day after Thanksgiving) until Christmas Eve, we plan, search, buy, cook, wrap, and hurry. The goal for many of us is simply survival, not attending humbly to the Lord….
The biblical story of Advent – that period immediately before the arrival of Christ – calls us to wait on God in deeper ways, even while time flies by. Thus, it becomes not only a story to tell, but a life to embrace….
Thus, Advent denotes a season of increased attention to Christ – acknowledgement of our sin and waywardness, an appeal for absolution and deliverance, and anticipation that the Deliverer is about to arrive. This is sacred waiting. (99-100).
We have been in a long waiting period since leaving the Grand Canyon. And we continue to wait. I was starting to run the risk of losing my focus on the Lord due to the many troubles we have endured and David Timms book has been pulling me back to the right focus – it is about God, not me. I am to be attending to and waiting on him, not he on me. I am to maintain a posture of waiting on the Lord and a readiness to serve him not the other way around.
I know waiting is hard, especially since we do much of it already, waiting in doctors waiting rooms, waiting in line, waiting in resturaunts, waiting here, waiting there, we seem to always be waiting. But the difference with sacred waiting is that with sacred waiting, we are waiting on God with a readiness to serve him as opposed to waiting on others to get our own needs met. The benefit of sacred waiting is that in the process, our needs do get met, but through our service to God and not his service to us. This is a subtle but important difference. I have so many needs I want met, but I have been realizing that as we stick to waiting on the Lord and not just going off on our own way, our needs do get met but in the process we stay connected to the Lord and grow closer to him and learn more.
So, I suppose I’d like to encourage us to find ways in this busy season of Christmas and Advent to wait on and attend humbly to the Lord – to find time to wait for our deliverer to come!