I hope, LORD. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise. (Psalm 130:5 CEB)
We’ll blink and Christmas will be here. This is the time of year when the calendar seems to accelerate, holidays racing past us at the speed of light. The accelerated pace on the outside—on the calendar—has a way of creeping in so that we feel hurried on the inside.
The season of Advent is an invitation to “just say no” to allowing the busyness of the time of year to busy our souls. Like a hurricane that has a calm center around which torrential winds and rain swirls, Advent invites us to allow the busyness in our society to be held at arm’s length from our center, from our soul.
One way we say “no” to a busied soul is by practicing an attitude of waiting. We usually think of waiting as cultivating patience. That’s true—patience is only acquiring by waiting (even though we all wish we could get more patience without having to actually practice it!). But waiting also cultivates trust. Why? Just listen to how we assess when waiting makes sense and when it doesn’t. We ask ourselves, “Is is worth the wait?” In other words, do we really believe this person will come through or that circumstance will come about? That’s a trust question.
And in this sense, trust is another word for hope. Hope says that how we live in the present is based on who or what we trust holds the future. The psalmist says, “I hope, LORD. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise.” The psalmist can wait because God’s promise is trustworthy—worth the wait.
Advent is a time of waiting in hope. It is a time when we acknowledge that Christ is worth the wait. Advent invites us—yes, challenges us—to navigate a busy calendar but choose a posture of the soul that waits in the hope of Christ.