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A reflection for Advent: Pregnant waiting

The waiting we do during Advent contains an expectation of a joyous future.

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Advent has been described as a “season of waiting.” And maybe it’s good practice; last week, at a medical appointment, I was reminded yet again that I am terrible at waiting. Perhaps it’s because at the doctor’s office I engaged in passive waiting—sitting around, drumming my fingers, waiting for something to happen. Hoping that someone would open that closed door and attend to me,

Advent, on the other hand, is a time of expectant waiting. Sometimes called pregnant waiting, this is waiting that anticipates the future. Theologian and mom Paula Gooder reflects on “pregnant waiting” in her book, The Meaning is in the Waiting (Paraclete Press):

One of the things I learned during pregnancy was that learning to savor the time of waiting allows us to appreciate the event when it comes.  The loss of an ability to wait often brings with it the inability to be fully and joyfully present now. 

One of the reasons we wait in Advent is to hone our skills of being joyfully and fully present now.  After a month of doing this, Christmas Day can gain a depth and meaning that would otherwise fly by in a whirl of presents and mince pies.

Reflection questions:

1. How well do I wait? 

2. When have I waited passively? expectantly?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016