Last Christmas I wrote a sketch for the services at our church. It was called, “Maybe next year.” A guy talked about growing up as a Cubs fan, living with expectant resignation (or resigned expectation). There was always the hope that maybe, just maybe, this would be the year.
We were done with the morning, and everyone had done incredibly well with their parts. It was the time for the last of us to walk across the parking lot. My boss got to his car and turned and thanked me for my work. My immediate response was to start talking about Easter, to begin the planning for the next big thing in the church calendar.
He told me to stop.
We live, some of us, with a sense of desperation. There is a hole in our hearts that needs to be filled with … something. We have a dream that will change everything, we are sure. If we pull this thing off, all will be well. If we can just….
And then we ache, right after our greatest success. “The adrenaline is wearing off,” we tell ourselves. “Lack of sleep,” we assure others of the reason for our sudden crankiness. After leaning into the wind, it is hard to stand up when it stops.
When I find myself looking for the next thing to do, when I find it impossible to wind down from being constantly connected, when I am looking for a list of things that I have completed to prove that I’m really not taking time off, I’m really not being unproductive…I realize that I am getting my value from my busyness, from my ability to impress people with my ability.
And that runs contrary to everything I believe to be true about God and His work.
I am constantly telling people that God wants to heal us and help us. That He made us and loves us. That He cares for and about us. I constantly talk about grace and peace. Is there a place for obedience? Absolutely, but not to a cop or a crackpot. Obedience to someone who loves me.
And then, in the midst of this teaching others about grace, I find myself wasting immense energy trying to do just the right thing. When the right thing is, at time, just sitting and waiting.
I don’t want to end this Christmas like last year, experiencing an event that serves as a the new record which must be beaten in the next holiday competition. More than presents, I want to know the Presence.
For more on a journey through anticipation, join me at advent2007.wordpress.com