I’ve spent more time in airports during the last year and a half than I have in the previous ten years combined. For a dedicate people watcher, an airport is a fascinating, if not tiring, place. One common thread I’ve picked up on is that we are busy…busy doing things we feel like we must be doing. This, of course, is different than doing what we want to be doing. This busyness is wearing us down and making the long winter nights drearier than they already are. We are guilty of making unimportant things important while giving little thought to what is important. In the airport last week, one got the sense that the weariness was greater than normal.
The prophet Jerimiah wrote long ago, ‘the days are surely coming says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” These words usher us into the season of Advent, when we wait and then wait some more for a baby that will change everything. We wait and wait some more for the light that not only breaks through the darkness but shatters it. We wait for a way, even when it seems there is no way.
Tom Petty was right when he sang ‘the waiting is the hardest part.” It seems that all good gifts from God come with a mandatory waiting period. I’ve come to believe what appears to be a time to wait is really a time to prepare. The birth of Jesus reminds us that in this time God is seeking to usher something new forth in us and through us. When there is a dream or vision that God offers, and it is too big or too good for us to imagine, we require a lot to believe. Advent offers us the time necessary to prepare to believe.
I found that to be my prayer in the airport last week. That we might believe. Believe that life is less the things we must do and more the things we are called to do. Believe the new dream that God will usher in us and through us this Christmas.