Advent is a time of waiting. But how do I wait?
Do I wait stoically or with joy?
Do I wait like a child, a child who trusts that his daddy will keep His promises or has life’s disappointments left me jaded and closed off to any spiritual surprises?
Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not a crumb of Light because we lock the door to our hearts. Then, we will cement our cynicism in place for another year.
As we wait, secretly longing for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light, we should look to our children to teach us how to wait for the Christ Child to be born anew in our hearts. They trust and believe the words of both their earthly and heavenly Fathers. Think of a young child, eyes twinkling, barely able to sit still and contain his excitement because he knows that his dad will never give him a stone instead of a loaf of bread. No wonder Jesus tells us,
“I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven…” Matthew 18:4
I can be an open window for the Holy Spirit and become one of many counterpoints of spiritual light to push back the darkness.
I can choose to welcome new life into my inner darkness. So I relax and let go of the burdens. Then I turn my eyes to the child Jesus in silent expectation, waiting to be filled with light and hope because it is Advent, the brink of Christmas, a festival of light, joy and peace on earth. If we are open and humble, the flames of the Advent candles shine as beacons of hope in the darkness, symbols of the Light of the world who will come on Christmas morning.
In fact, why don’t we all humble ourselves and ask for the faith of a child as we wait this Advent.
Has God surprised you with special blessings at Christmas? Can you take a leap of faith and ask your Father in heaven for the bread of His Presence, knowing He will not give you a stone?