This week the RevGalBlogPals' Friday Five asks us where we find the joy in the following. (And in the spirit of the question, I've waited a day to respond.)
I'll admit it -- I'm a bad, impatient waiter. On the other hand, I'm also a procrastinator, which makes me a hypocrite as well. So it's hard for me to find actual ajoy in waiting, for a number of reasons. But that impatience in waiting can be a useful spur to getting things done; as one of our local churches' signboards notes, "The King is Coming -- Look Busy!"
I love the quietness of darkness...the texture of darkness (if you've ever sat outside stargazing at night you know what I mean)...the space it makes for prayer, for rest, for meaningful thought not cluttered by daytime "monkey mind."
Again, there's a quietness and peace (especially after the holidays) in winter that I find appealing. One of my favorite things is a snowed-in weekend at home; there's a restfulness, over and above the initial getting-away-with-something titillation, that I love.
For me Advent is a needed corrective to pop-culture Christmas craziness. It's a reminder that, no matter what the dominant culture may be saying or doing, the season isn't about commerce, isn't about social payback, isn't about amassing stuff. And it's also a reminder that the Christian story doesn't begin and end with Christmas.
5. Jesus' coming?
I know that many people, especially people new to liturgical worship based upon the Church Year, have a hard time understanding the eschatological element of Advent; they're focused on expectant Mary and Baby Jesus, and here we are talking about the end of all things. But to me there is a joy, albeit muted, in holding on to the hope that life as we know it, collectively and individually, is not the end of the story; that there is a "new thing" coming, and that our Elder Brother Jesus is leading us there.