Thursday, December 04, 2008

On Your Mark. Get Set. Wait.

(Random thoughts for the Contemplative Service this Sunday)

Those of you who have heard me speak before know that I love to cook. I can be a month away from a dinner party and already be searching through cookbooks, planning the perfect menu. Organizing my shopping list under various subcategories and even drawing up a time plan to coordinate the cooking of multiple dishes.

I love the running around on the day, putting the finishing touches on everything, making sure every dish is ready to go when the time for the start of the party rolls around, and then just waiting for the doorbell to ring.

...and waiting....

...and waiting...

...and waiting...

Being English I was raised that being 'on time' meant being 10 minutes early. There's something about waiting beyond the length of time I was expecting that sucks the joy out of all my preparation.

It couldn't have been easy being Israel. Imagine hearing the promise:

"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel."

and having to wait over 400 years for it to come to fruition. I get angry enough when someone is 30 minutes late!

400 years feels like along time.

I read the Magnificat - Mary's incredible song of Praise that she sang in the presence of her cousin Elizabeth, and I wonder. I wonder if she was still singing about how blessed she was when she was 8 1/2 months pregnant and riding a donkey.

9 months feels like a long time.

I sit in Advent - this season of Preparation and Waiting. And I get frustrated. Even when I've done everything that I can to Prepare I still have to wait. Preparation can fill up the time, but it cannot make the time move any quicker.

4 weeks feels like a long time.

I sit in the Contemplative service. We've finished a song. I look down at the bulletin and I know that a liturgical reading is coming next. I look up to see who is leading it, but nobody has stepped forward. Have they forgotten? Is there some miscommunication that I am unaware of?

2 minutes feels like a long time.

I sit in stillness, I pray and ask God to speak, I talk to others about whatever it is God is 'birthing' in my life...

...and I wait...

...and I wait...

...and I wait...

The waiting teaches me that I'm part of something much larger than just myself with my own calendar and my own agenda.

The waiting teaches me that I'm not the center of the Universe.

The waiting teaches me to trust God's timing whenever I think God is moving too slowly.

The waiting teaches me that God cannot be manipulated. It's not just about me putting my quarters in the cosmic coke machine and pushing the right button.

The waiting teaches me that just because I'm prepared doesn't mean I'm ready.

On your mark. Get set. Wait.

1 comment:

JennyB said...

Cosmic _Coke_ machine? Well, there's your first problem :) Sorry, I did enjoy the post, and was feeling thoughtful, but somehow the joker just has to come out too. Back to waiting.