We are called to be “a waiting people”

When I was a kid and it was time for a haircut my dad would take us to
Roy, the local barber. We would sit in a chair, listen to the men chat,
and anxiously wait our turn, not for the haircut, but for the lollipop
that came afterward.

When I got a tooth ache, I went to Dr. Lemmon. For a fever it was Dr.
Wood; broken glasses, Dr. Warren. I never remember my parents making
appointments. We just showed up and waited our turn.

Today, when I get my haircut, go to the doctor or, of all things, have
tires put on my car, I call ahead for an appointment. The reason? In part
because the small-town-show-up-when-you-want is no longer a
reality regardless of the size of the town. Yet, it also has to do a great
deal with me.

In my mind I make appointments in order to be as efficient as possible. My expectation is that if I am supposed to get my tires put on at 4:30,
then I should get my tires on at 4:30 – not 4:42! With this said, I don’t
think I am necessarily an impatient person by nature; I would just rather
not spend a lot of time waiting.

And that is why I not only love Advent but sincerely need Advent. It
annually reminds that waiting is not only an important life discipline, it
is a critical spiritual discipline. “Wait for God, be strong and let your
heart take courage, wait for God” Psalm 27:14.

Humorously, what often helps me center on our call to be a waiting people
is remembering Roy, the barber, and the promise of a succulent treat!