Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Excellent Advent Advice Part VII: Wait Patiently

What are we really waiting for this week, this month, this year? 
Around the holidays, we are often made to wait.  We wait in long lines to take advantage of a slew of sales, mail packages, purchase Christmas gifts, visit Santa, buy ingredients for holiday meals, and baking festive goodies.  I saw a number of people at the mall yesterday waiting for other people who were trying on clothes, shopping in yet another store, playing in the children’s play area, eating lunch, ringing people up in the check-out line, counting the minutes until they could go on break or just go home…
I know others who are waiting to be discharged from ICU, waiting for their deployment to end, waiting for grieving the loss of their loved ones to become easier, waiting for a family member’s conversion, waiting for a new job, waiting for a clearer answer from God as to what life-long vocation He’s calling them to, waiting for retirement, waiting to give birth, waiting for the pain to stop, waiting for an apology, waiting to hear I love you…
We are willing to wait the longest for whom and for what we yearn the most.  Are we waiting for our relationships to improve with our family? Our friends? Our Lord? 
You’ve likely heard about the Secret Santas who have waited in line to pay off part or almost all of the bill for items people have put on layaway at Kmart.  Waiting in line to pay someone else’s bill is certainly a charitable gift.  I imagine the individuals doing this aren’t exactly pushing and shoving to get up front, which is also a testimony to the beneficence at the root of this gesture.      
Can the deepest longing of our hearts be fulfilled by something from a store?  No.  The love we long for, the love that we need, only comes from the Lord.  He often works in and through other people to share His unconditional love for us, but He is the True Source of all love, mercy, peace, joy, gentleness, compassion, and kindness.   
Our dear brother in Christ sent me a link to the song “Where’s the Line to See Jesus?” by Becky Kelley.  It’s a thought-provoking video I listened to and watched a few times through. 
I had to ask myself who’s line am I in, anyway?  Would I be more inclined to wait in line for hours if that’s what it took to get the gift a loved one wanted most?  Would I wait as long as need be for the gift each heart yearns for most? 
The most important, life-changing line my husband and I stand in several times a week, is the line to receive the True Presence of our Lord in flesh and blood in the Most Holy Eucharist. 
For whom or what are you waiting?    Will your mind, body, and spirit be fed?  Will you be given the gifts of true peace and joy in time and eternity?  If not, there’s still time to get in the right line. 
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