Endless Waiting In This Season Of Advent
Almost all our life is spent in waiting. The best things in life are those that resulted from our patient waiting. Besides, if we glance back into our own history, we find a whole truth to this—we were brought up across years of preparations that our parents made. Once in their youth they dreamt about us. They went to school; they sought the best opportunities; they worked hard and, took each step up the stairway at a time, they waited in anticipation of raising their own family and bring to life the air castles they had built in their idealistic stage. And in those nine months of being inside the womb of our mother, they waited for us most excitedly. We came out into the world seeing our first love—our parents who also oriented us about how to love and be loved through patient waiting.
Do you think the waiting ends there? The waiting continues—waiting for us to grow, waiting to see how we first learn to write our initials and set foot in school until we are able to stand confidently our ground, and so on and on. We often grumble of getting bored with childhood, and cannot wait to reach adulthood only to find ourselves in the end longing to be children again. We are so anxious about the future, and forget the abundance of the present, and then complain about not enjoying our time or not being given time.
Waiting is the unforeseen friend we meet along the journey. The long winding road ahead of us requires from every traveler a certain level of growth and maturity which only waiting can afford to give us. We need time to grow and mature like worming ourselves out from the protective cocoon. We can only say to ourselves that we are strong only through time. We can say that we are patient only when we have experienced how to really wait. Like the Mustard seed, no matter how tiny it is but when allowed time, can turn into a bush where birds in the sky can nestle on its branches.
In a homily beautifully written by Fr. Jim Donelan: he says that most of all, waiting means waiting for someone else. If we never learn how to wait, then we’ll never learn how to love someone other than ourselves. In Greek mythology, Penelope waited for twenty years for Ulysses to come home. Weaving all day and unweaving all night, many things changed in her life bit by bit even though often times too her life seemed nothing was happening.
This was true for Jesus who waited across long years for the fulfillment of his mission. He did not rush to do his public ministry; he knew if it was not yet his time. It was through patient waiting that Jesus showed his great love for humankind. Why would Jesus spend the longest 30 years of his life shunning the public eye? Why did he not start his public ministry at his early 20's and he could have cured more or raised more people from the dead?
Yet, it is still hard to see in human eyes the power of waiting by which our God has saved us. How is it possible?
I guess the answer can only be something that is personal to us, to me? How have I personally felt God's endless longing and waiting for me despite my obstinacy?
This season of advent, season of waiting, let us beg for the encounter of being waited and relish the feeling that there is actually no end to that kind of waiting. The promise to us all this advent can come if and only if we are willing to wait and to trust in waiting’s slow process.
For more themes on Advent Son of the Prodigal