Most of us consider waiting as a passive activity, a state determined by events out of our control. We often find ourselves in situations where we just have to sit – or stand – and wait. Standing in line at the grocery. Sitting in our car in traffic. Counting the days until vacation.
I don’t know about you but I feel a bit of irritation when someone says “Just wait.” I want to DO something. Waiting seems so passive. Or at least it used to until recently.
During this time of the year, I feel called to reflect on my spiritual roots in Christianity. When I was younger, I could not wait to celebrate Christmas which in our family was done on Christmas Eve. I was a “package shaker” in an effort to figure out what was underneath the wrappings before Christmas arrived. Eventually that materialism lessened as my religious and spiritual awareness grew (thank goodness!)
I still struggled with the idea of waiting patiently. Advent, according to the dictionary, is the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. In the Christian church, it is the four weeks and Sundays leading up to Christmas. The essence of scripture readings for those weeks is around waiting. I’ve grown in my understanding and sense of what it means to patiently wait. (Sitting in traffic remains a challenge!)
But the waiting is not passive. Those with spiritual awareness who wait are active waiters. The waiting of Advent, for me, is filled with pregnant possibilities surrounded in the womb of Hope, Peace, Joy and Light. I’ve discovered if I wait with the belief a seed has been planted and something has already begun, the way I wait changes. Active waiting requires that I “be here now” fully in the present moment believing in every moment that something is happening where I am right here, right now.
This kind of waiting requires listening, deep listening of the ear of the heart. I’ve learned the real barriers to this kind of listening are the “woulda, coulda, shouldas” and the “oughts and ifs”. They take us out of the here and now into an unchangeable past and an uncertain and unpredictable future. Real life takes place in the here and now.
When we listen with the ear of our heart, Spirit is present. (You may substitute another word here for how you name the unnamable Source.) Spirit is always around us, within us and in the present. Whether our moments feel challenging or smooth, joyful or painful, light or dark, I believe Spirit is always in that moment. Spirit is the One who IS. Here and Now.
My spiritual roots taught me that when Jesus spoke about God, he always spoke about God as being where and when I am as being ever present. My study and experience of other spiritual practices have provided openings to ask questions, and deeply LISTEN to Spirit. That kind of deep listening requires patient waiting in the stillness, in the pregnant pause with my breath and heartbeat to support me.
Blessings ~ Christy
How do you handle waiting? What, if anything, does your spiritual tradition teach you about waiting? What spiritual or contemplative practices enable you to listen deeply to Spirit or to that small voice within you?
(This was originally posted in the World of SoulCollage, Spiritual Companion Village on Mighty Networks. Edited for continuity. To join the World of SoulCollage, please visit https://community.soulcollage.com/share/0idVEDn9xegF49zM?utm_source=manual )
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that this blog, photos, social media postings serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)