As I sat in my pew this weekend waiting for Mass to begin, I noticed the cantor off to the side of the altar fiddling with something. Just a moment later I realized whatever he was working on was stirring something suspended above the altar. After loosening the grip of the knot, he slowly lowered the fresh evergreen boughs and candles hanging above and behind the spot where the priest stands to consecrate the body and blood of Jesus. It was then that I noticed the priest who had been standing in silence and stillness waiting. He watched as the wreath spun this way and that. He patiently waited as it finally came to rest, allowing him to light the first candle of Advent.
Watching the cantor wrestling with the ropes and the priest waiting for the wreath to descend, I thought of how often we wrestle with our faith in God.
This Advent season is one of hopeful anticipation. A season where we reflect upon the details of a miraculous birth and look with hope to a day where we all will experience, firsthand, the unmitigated glory of God. But rushing through our day without dedicating time to stillness and silence, we run the risk of missing out on all that God is hoping to reveal.
How we wrestle with the questions of our faith and move through Advent is important. There are many times when we lack persistence and patience in prayer. We give up because a particular knot in our life is too tight and we don’t trust God to provide a way forward. Or, we rush ahead, trying to grab ahold of something before it’s time. In these instances, we run the risk of missing what God is so longing to give: His peace, His healing, His direction, and ultimately, His love.
When we approach our faith and relationship with God with intention, stillness, and patience we find that the answers to our questions fall in to place in inexplicable ways.
This Advent, give your soul the gift of stillness and silence, the gift of space to patiently wrestle in the waiting.
Sit for at least 5 minutes with a few words of Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to spin and weave and work to strengthen your trust in God. Over the course of the day, pick the words back up and roll them around in your mind. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct your attention to the word or words that He wants you to see today.
Keep wrestling, God is faithful to His promises.