Yesterday my "thought for the day" from Henri Nouwen was entitled "Active Waiting"
Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait after Easter for the coming of the Spirit, and after the ascension of Jesus we wait for his coming again in glory. We are always waiting, but it is a waiting in the conviction that we have already seen God's footsteps.
Waiting for God is an active, alert - yes, joyful - waiting. As we wait we remember him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.
I’ve been reflecting alot on the process of waiting…of being wholly in the present moment because at the moment there’s nowhere else I can possibly look to…
I don’t know where I’ll be living, who I’ll be working with, what new frienships, delights and frustrations lie in wait for me in the next few months.
I can’t spend my time constantly teetering on the brink of farewell…that way madness lies.
So, for the moment my calling is to be fully here without worrying or wondering about what comes next.
Easy to write.
Doing it? Hmmn…not quite so good.
One of the liturgies in the first edition of the Iona Wee Worship Group included a response
“So thank you for the waiting time” – and in this thanksgiving week I’d love to be able to pray that with conviction.
But I’m a doer. I want to get on with the next thing (usually well before I’ve finished the one before – I have a zero score as “completer/finisher” on the Belbin tests) . Though I promise I don’t see the world, or even the C of E, as something to subdue, I can sympathise with Alexander the Great who reputedly wept when he discovered that there were “no worlds left to conquer” because I like the thought of new horizons, fresh outlooks…
Just too bad, really.
I’m not called to be adventurous.
I’m called to be faithful.
To live in the here and now because actually, here and now is all that I have.
This is where I must look for God and expect to find him.
"The meaning is in the waiting".