2021 has been a year of waiting; the coronavirus has forced changes around our world, impacting us collectively and personally. We’ve waited for news of improving conditions, for the lockdown to be lifted, flights to open up. We’ve waited at bedsides, outside of windows of elderly nursing home residents, at the safe-six-foot-distance in grocery lines.
I look back at my post last December 13th, Season of Waiting and read my perspective for that year:
“We’ve all been doing so much waiting during 2020 that it’s hard to now consider the waiting that’s done during this season. Life as we’ve known it has been turned upside down by the pandemic and we’ve been waiting for it to turn over. Now, we have hope as the vaccine is rolling out this week but still many are struggling with illness and waiting for their symptoms to turn around, hospital staff are waiting to be relieved of their worry and exhaustion.”
We have realized that hope that vaccines would be available and many of us have gotten the vaccines and a booster shot. But still we’ve continued in the pandemic; there’ve been lifting of restrictions but also further concern as the virus mutated and we saw surges with the Delta variant. The anxiety of the unknown, of further realization of what we can’t control, has worn down our collective spirit. Most of us know someone who has lost his or her life to the coronavirus and we’ve witnessed the impact on their family, left behind with their lives forever changed.
Now, we’ve moved to another variant and the further realization that going forward, things will continue to be different.
Meanwhile, it’s another Advent Season and I join with Christians around the world in that time of waiting and anticipating the birth of the Christ child. Unlike the waiting forced on us by the coronavirus, Advent waiting is a choice by people of faith.
In considering all that’s involved in waiting, whether it’s by force or by choice, I looked at the Merriam-Webster definition. What jumped out at me is that wait/waiting is both a noun and a verb; it involves mind and body. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waiting
In many of my posts, I’ve mentioned my struggle with waiting. When taking dance lessons, my instructors have often reminded me– as a Follower, to “Wait on the Lead.” I have such a pattern of taking off, wanting to get into the dance, that now I have to remind myself with each partner. In this situation, waiting is a verb as I’m “to stay in place in expectation of” the Leader initiating the dance. My body has to stand in position, to be still.
During this season of Advent, our minds are focused on the journey that led to the birth of the Christ child. The meaning in noun form from the dictionary of “a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy” is fitting. It’s a challenge for us to allow our minds to be settled during the rush of holiday activities; we have to be intentional to stay focused on the quiet arrival of a king.
Last night, I saw a musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol at a theater in my hometown. As I watched the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future I thought about how many times I’d seen them over the years. Each time, depending on my age and the circumstances of my life, those ghosts brought different realizations to me.
During another season of Advent, after another year of waiting for relief from the pandemic, there’s space for new realizations– alternative ways of viewing our lives collectively and personally. May we all find the quiet space for those realizations that involve our minds and bodies.
Peace and Blessings to You All!