advent reflections // week 1: LONGING.


One of my closest friends suffers from depression and in my confiding in them about my own struggles with it, they gave me an encouraging piece of advice. They told me to not feel bad to take a sick day, to remember that depression is an illness and some days I am more sick than others.

After attempting to follow through with plans I had (I showed up and had to leave because I was too stormy inside), I went home and curled up with a hot beverage and some Advent readings.

In my wonderful Mosaic Bible (purchased for 50% off from the Borders on Lake Ave. in Pasadena as it was closing) I read about LONGING. In recent conversations the idea of consumerism has come up many times, the thought that we tend to devalue that which we do not wait for. In one of his books, Donald Miller writes about how God saw it was not good for man to be alone and yet even after that he gave him the task of naming all of the animals. He allowed a yearning to be born within Adam before he created a solution.

We live in a culture that looks for quick fixes.Quick internet, microwaves, snap chats, drive thru, Keurigs…. all about the speed to appease our impatient nature.

And then in the midst of all that begins the Spiritual Year with ADVENT: waiting: hoping: longing: yearning: expecting. God did not meet Adam’s need immediately, nor did he meet the need of sinful man immediately (WHY so many generations between the fall of man and the redemption of man? and let’s be honest – could he not return at any moment should he feel the desire? There is something about waiting – anticipating – yearning – that makes the fulfillment fill us even deeper. Our longing grows, and our expectancy is stretched.

This is an idea to ponder. Could not God himself have made everything in one moment, in one BIG BANG if you will? Nothing into immediate something. But instead he slowly builds it all until he finally, with what I’d imagine was great joy, breathes into the dust and creates his beloved mankind. God himself seems to have exercised that same sort of Advent in the creation of the world, saving the best for last and holding off. Did he create the oceans and imagine us standing in them, or think of the conversations that would happen laying under the night sky? Surely he had to have, yet he continued to create this and that and then that other thing.

In a world that is picking up speed like an avalanche I am grateful for a faith that calls me to slow down, to crouch in an empty stinky stable and watch as each week the hour of Christ’s birth (or our celebration of it) draws nearer. It is a gift far too valuable to rush or reduce to an e-card.

And so we wait.