I’m not

Michael asked a question that’s really easy for me to answer. “Are You Good At Waiting?” No, I’m not. In fact, on the subject of Advent, I’m chief of hypocrites.

As an adult convert from fundamentalism to mainstream evangelicalism, Advent should be — and is — in my wheelhouse. I’m interested in setting aside a month to wait expectantly on Jesus. I have books, I talk about it, write articles about it, and then the first Sunday of Advent comes and goes and.. nothing. 

Oh, I have excuses, even reasons. I tell myself that Advent is about expectation and intentionality, thoughtfulness, not bondage. Still, somehow I feel like I’ve failed. I’m a day behind celebrating the Christian new year! If I were really intentional, after all, would I be a day behind? Should I have spoken at last night’s service about Advent, when I had not even sat down with my own family?

Easily I could wrap myself in rules and regulations, in guilt and recrimination. Instead, I lean wholely on Christ. I confessed to my church family that I had let time run away and failed to begin celebration. I know that Christ’s return is not contingent on my attitude or expectation. Christ has coming, will come, and I am His.

Good at waiting? Hardly. My wife calls me patient because I don’t get frustrated at things, but I do get frustrated at myself, or maybe at God. This sanctification stuff takes too long, and I make the same stupid mistakes and here it is December again already and we’re a candle short, but maybe we can run to the store and… no, we wait. Hurrying to being Advent might be missing the point even more than being a day late. 

We wait, expectantly, impatiently, and imperfectly, and we look forward to a time when Christ shall return.

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~ by Phillip Winn on December 1, 2008.

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