A Sense of God's Timing

O God, grant us a sense of your timing. In this season of short days and long nights, of grey and white and cold, teach us the lessons of beginnings; that such waitings and endings may be the starting place, a planting of seeds which bring to birth what is ready to be born something right and just and different, a new song, a deeper relationship, a fuller love in the fullness of your time.
-from Ted Loder, Guerillas of Grace

Grant us a sense of your timing…

Yes. Please.

Because my timing is almost always not God’s timing. My timing right now would add about 3 hours to each day and 3 weeks to Advent so I could get everything done I think I need to get done before Christmas Eve. My to-do list includes shopping for family and friends, attending concerts and holiday events, cleaning the ever-messy home to host gatherings, organizing said gatherings, and preparing exquisite Christmas meals, among the dozens of items.

And that doesn’t even include the church to-do list for worship, including a Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve that will be both adorable and theologically engaging while requiring little to no rehearsals.

Oh, and wait. It’s Advent, so I try to pray Evening Prayer each night, sitting quietly and reflectively by my Advent wreath as I remember to slow down, reflect, and be present to the season.

I think I failed Advent.

Because it’s now almost Christmas, and few things are done and many are left undone. I feel anxious, a bit hurried, and a lot tired.

I feel unready for Christmas, which is a week away.

And yet, God’s timing meets me in that place. Ready or not, here God comes, born in the midst of our anxiety, our hurriedness, our tiredness, our un-readyness.

The sense of God’s timing is not one which waits for us to be perfectly prepared, well organized, and ready. God’s timing reminds us we will never be ready to receive the amazing gift of Love. God’s timing simply asks us to hold out our hands and hearts and receive the Love that is being born into our lives, whenever those moments arrive.

I light a candle on my Advent wreath, then remember to light the other two. I breathe and marvel at the love of God who welcomes me, anxiety, hurriedness, and all. For the first time in days, I release a deep breath which carries with it the things I think I need to get done.

I remember God is with us, in marvelous and quiet ways. God with us in our hurriedness. God is with us in our quietness. God is with us, and all I have to do, really, is to open my heart and receive.

For that, I give thanks.

But I’m still looking for that Christmas Pageant.

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Unknown said…
Thanks for this. I woke up this morning overwhelmed with the week to come, and knowing my husband is feeling it even more. "failing Advent" seems to be a regular thing here at the Rectory. My prayer for all in God's service today is that this week will be one of joyful anticipation, and that the long list of things to do will not get in the way of truly celebrating and being present in the moment. Christ must shake His head at how we celebrate His birthday!

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