Bruce Lindgren of Independence, MO, USA
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. -Psalm 146:2, 5-8
I live on the edge of the Great American Desert. (It’s an old nineteenth-century term for the arid western part of the Great Plains.) If I drive west for about an hour and a half, I will enter a landscape completely unlike the American Midwest, where I have lived my entire life.
With a few small exceptions, I will encounter an open, treeless vista all the way to Denver, Colorado; and the drive will take all day. I have friends who consider this drive almost unbearable. I happen to find it peaceful. If I want to visit the Rocky Mountains, it would be much more efficient to fly, but that’s not how I like to do it.
I prefer the slow transition, the long, quiet wait. More often than not, I worry about things too much: about the fate of the world, about my family, about what we’ll have for dinner when evening comes. The long, slow drive lets my worries fade away. For much of the time, it is quiet. I don’t want to have the radio playing music or the latest news all day long. I’m in an unfamiliar landscape, and I enjoy watching it go by. At the end of the day, we’re in the mountains and totally at peace.
Most of the time, we hate to wait. It’s like being in a dry, seemingly lifeless place where nothing is happening. If we’re in a hurry, it’s almost painful. But waiting has its uses. If we break an arm or leg, we wait for it to heal. At any given time, it seems like nothing is happening; but with enough time the body renews itself and we move on restored.
We live in a time of waiting that seems like it may last forever; but this, too, shall pass. Will we arrive at our destination refreshed and ready to begin life in a new place, or will we just keep complaining about the wait?
The good news of Jesus promises new life, and new life is possible for us if we settle into our waiting and allow it to prepare us for the new day. If we must wait, we can embrace the waiting. We can help to ease the way for those who may not be able to complete the journey on their own, those who may not have the means to complete their waiting.
Like the butterfly waiting to emerge, like the bread waiting to rise, we wait and look to be transformed into something new.
“Trust what is being born.”
Jesus, the Peaceful One
We have spent this year with a guiding question: Are we moving closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One? As we near the end of this calendar year, we review how this question has been shaping and forming us. In our thoughts, words, and actions, have we been embodying Jesus, the Peaceful One? What might it look like to move closer to Jesus, the Peaceful One as we make space in our lives for Christ incarnate this Advent season?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.