Article by Pastor Tim Lourash originally published in Faith Forum of Dec. 2, 2017 issue of Curry Coastal Pilot, used by permission
This Sunday [12/2/17] is the first Sunday of Advent, and it is a season of waiting. We tell the story of the coming of Jesus, not with doing, but with waiting - waiting for God to act.
Most of us (myself included) are part of this high-speed, high-tech, instantaneous culture and are not good at waiting. It feels for us like doing nothing, and we are a driven people who take pride in being busy. We must learn from Advent. The problem is we have made Advent and Christmas into a single "holiday season". But the truth is that Advent is different from Christmas, as it carries its strong theme of waiting.
The world has gone wrong. Just look around; it seems that God is nowhere to be found. That's when the waiting arises in our soul: "O Lord, how long?" In the book of Isaiah, there is a consistent theme of waiting for God to act. We see this theme, "The Lord is coming; God is about to act but, for now, we wait." The waiting is crucial. In the waiting, our soul grows quiet and gains the awareness to see when and where God is moving.
We have believed the lie that misleads us into thinking that God is found in the large and loud, when in fact, God is almost never found in the large and loud. The ways of God are mostly small and quiet. The ways of God are almost never found in the shouts of the crowd; the ways of God are more often found in small acts and whispered prayers.
We want God to do a big thing, while God is planning to do a small thing. We are fascinated by the large and loud. God is not. We are in a rush. God is not. We want God to act now, but his timing is almost always slow. So we are waiting for God to act, but I think that we are not just waiting for God to act: we are becoming patient enough to discern what God is doing.
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always inviting us to join them. But when we are consumed by anger, anxiety and impatience, we cannot see what God is doing at the present moment.
Waiting for God to act only feels like waiting for God to act. God is always moving because God is always loving the world. Waiting for God to work is actually waiting for your soul to become quiet enough to see what God is doing in the obscure and forgotten corners. We want God to act in Washington, D.C., but God first acts in the quiet corners of our lives.
May this Advent help prepare you to discern what God is about to do in your life and in our world.