by Fr Robert Barron

Waiting is very hard for most of us. I suppose we human beings have always been in a hurry, but modern people, especially, seem to want what they want, when they want it. We are driven, determined, goal-oriented, fast-moving. I, for one, can’t stand waiting.

As a Chicagoan I find myself unavoidably in a lot of traffic jams, and few things infuriate me more. Usually stuck behind a massive truck, I have no idea when I will get where I want to be, and there is nothing I can do about it.

I hate waiting at doctors’ offices; I hate waiting in line at the bank; I hate waiting for the lights to come back on when the electricity fails.

So when I’m told that waiting seems to belong to the heart of the spiritual life, I’m not pleased, for here, too, I want answers, direction, clarity – and I want them pronto. I desire to feel happy and to know what God is up to; I need my life to make sense – now. I’m pleased to live a spiritual life, but I want to be in charge of it and to make it unfold according to my schedule: Run Barron Run. All of this is profoundly antipathetic to the mood and spirit of Advent.

Throughout Advent so far, we’ve sensed a major theme: wait, but with the active expectation that God will move. The Psalmist had it right: “Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord!” (Ps 27:14).

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