I am among those waiting for snow because I like to skate ski. I don’t want to do it all year, but the 12 weeks or so that it is practical I love to do it. By the end of the winter I am as happy as anyone else to see the snow melt, but this time of year I live with anticipation and the first few skis are pure magic for my soul. I believe the wait is crucial to the enjoyment of skiing, at least for me.
Waiting builds anticipation. The more you knowingly wait for something the more you desire that something and (hopefully) the more you will enjoy it when the waiting is over. Advent is about waiting, waiting for the messiah, waiting for the return of Christ, waiting to to sense the love and goodness of God.
I want to offer the simplest of practices:
Place something you desire in front of you. It could be an orange, a good whiskey, or a chocolate n.b. or whatever else it is you desire (and which you are willing and able to safely consume).
Look at it carefully, if you selected on orange notice all the tiny pulp inside the translucent skin, if you chose whiskey notice its colour and scent, if a chocolate appreciate its shape and scent.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself consuming the item.
Think about the pleasure it will bring.
Is there anyone you want to share it with?
Sit still for 15 minutes with the item in front of you.
Look at it.
Permit yourself to feel desire.
When you finally consume it can you do so in a controlled manner?
Can you truly taste and appreciate it?
Did the wait make it all the sweeter?
Like the barren women of the bible, all creation waits for the one who will make things right. For those of us familiar with pain we wonder why the wait is so long. (I can’t answer that). Still, as I encounter more and more pain in the world I look all the more forward to its cessation.
Advent is about waiting.
About noticing what the messiah is going to make right
Feeling the hardships such that we desire the messiah all the more.
I know it is hard, but can we embrace the slowness and submit to the wait?