Advent is about waiting.
Waiting is not something which we are particularly good at; or at least I am not good at at any rate! When I decide on something i want it now and waiting can be very tedious.
We live in an instant culture where we like to have everything now. We want strawberries on Christmas Day, we want potatoes flown in from the Middle East to Ireland, we buy in sugar from Germany when we have sugar beet rotting in the ground? Needless to say there is nothing wrong with the products from an of these places. However, we loose something when we break the connection between the product and its source. We grew our own potatoes and peas this year and it was a sheer delight to watch them grow and to harvest them each day for dinner. Our children excitedly dug the potatoes and presented them with great pride. We had to wait, and watch and expect.
Maybe in the midst of our economic crisis there is something to be rediscovered about the value and virtue of waiting. Of having to invest in the lead-up to something rather than being able to pick it from the shelf literally or metaphorically? Can we live in the now with a sense of hope and excitement for the future rather than simply surviving on the shallow -albeit pleasurable- feeling of the quick fix of instant gratification? Advent is about waiting. It is about expectation. It is about that sense of nervous excitement about the future which we hope will be better than the present.
What are we waiting for today? And more importantly, what is there in life that is worth waiting for?