Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hurry up and wait

(Read Psalm 62)

Every day (well actually, several times a day!) Teddy calls. And, every day, he wants to know the same thing: has Sarah had her baby yet? Sarah is a young woman in the church, just a couple of years older than Teddy, who grew up with him - accepting him, loving him, seeing him as one of God's children just as she is. So, she is very special to him. And the fact that she married a fellow who spent some time as one of Teddy's caregivers in one of those times when he could live at home, makes it doubly special for Teddy (and for us).

And every day (actually, several times a day!) I have to tell him that, no, I haven't heard anything yet and reassure him that as soon as I hear, he will share in the good news. But it is hard on him, all this waiting to hear about his friends and their baby.

If anything, this is the season when we get repeated lessons on waiting. Waiting in line to make a purchase, to get a tree, to mail a package. Waiting for the email from the relatives letting us know when they plan to arrive. Waiting for the delivery truck to arrive (hopefully, NOT at a time when the kids are at home). Waiting to sing those beloved carols; waiting to gather in the quiet of the night on Christmas Eve to once more hear the Story.

And none of us, none of us, none of us are any good at waiting, are we? We're too busy, we're too frantic, we're too worried, we're too important to have to wait, to be put on hold, to have someone tell us, 'sorry, not today; maybe that toy/game/video/whatever will be on the shelves tomorrow.

It's not just a virtue we need to develop, it's not just a skill we learn, waiting is a spiritual discipline, which none of us are very disciplined at practicing!

Now, I can't begin to imagine what it was like for Mary to have to take that long, dusty, probably painful journey to Bethlehem. I can't begin to know what it is like for Sarah, and Chuck, to continue to wait - day after day - for little Evan to make his appearance.

But because I know Sarah, and Chuck, I have no doubt that as they walk the road to parenthood during this season, like Mary and the psalmist, they say,
'For God alone my soul waits
in silence,
for our hope is from God.'

Prayer: We hurry up and wait, often for things that have no lasting value. But you are worth waiting for, Deliverance of our hearts, so help us to be calm, to be silent, to be hopeful in this waiting time. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

No comments: