It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God,
Advent after Advent,
that we come to realize that
its coming depends on us. ~ Joan Chittister, OSB
God leaves the Advent up to us—the coming of the Kingdom of God up to us? Does this make sense to you? Doesn’t God know how we are? The answer to that is, “Yes, he does.” He knows how and who we are and he does it, anyway.
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a little ticked at God right now – for getting me into the things he does; for breaking my heart over so much – for not fixing things or me with a “Zap” when he could have. How can a person see God in the sky and immediately fall into a pit? Good question. Requires meditating. But there is so much gone wrong with the world right now. It’s in the news every day. I feel pretty helpless when it comes to doing very much about it. I want God to ZAP it healed. Don’t leave this to us because we, or at least I, don’t know what to do about shootings, and ISIS, etc. I can’t even handle things on a smaller scale, sometimes.
I don’t like winter. It is part of the pit I fall into and some years are harder than others. It’s dark. I’m weary. I’m dry. I’m broken-hearted over the state of the world, of situations in my own family, in yours and some issues personally my own. I want to run away some days. The Rule of St. Benedict, which I somewhat follow, calls one to Stability in Community. We work out our salvation in fear and trembling where we are placed. That rules out running. So…God knows who and how I am/we are and he calls us to Advent. Teresa of Avila, when she was beginning a new convent and was travelling by donkey with a few other nuns, fell into a swollen creek and said to God, “If this is the way you treat your friends, it’s no wonder that you have so few.” I can sometimes relate. Advent reminds us that the light will return but how and what do we do while we wait? What do we do until we’re healed? How do we help usher in the Kingdom of God?
Three things come to mind. “Be still and know that I am God.” Spend time alone with God even when we want to run out of our prayer chair. Teresa of Avila, again, once said, “I was more anxious for the hour of prayer to be over than I was to remain there. I don’t know what heavy penance I would not have gladly undertaken rather than practice prayer.” Silence and Solitude are hard to get into sometimes. Teresa tried anyway and so, in obedience, can we/I.
We can love our brothers and sisters and help with what’s right in front of us—those “little” things with our name on them. And the big things—civil unrest, shootings, slavery, ISIS and other such breaking-heart signs of human will gone horribly wrong—since they are not likely to be zapped immediately without our intervention, I have decided to lift them to God in loving prayer. That does not mean I love these things. It means that God loves those people gone wrong, so I must. It could be me. I hold them, as well as I am able, into the light of Jesus every day, sometimes more than once. That’s all. That’s my Zap. Pray and praise. Work for the coming Kingdom. Watch and wait. And be thankful. Even when you’re mad. And broken.
Come Lord, Jesus, and dwell among us. Again. Very soon.