The Joys of Hopeful Waiting


One of the quotes I often come across on Facebook is this one by Soren Kierkegaard, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  I find that reflecting on the past invariably shows me life’s lessons in many ways. And doing it several times over reveals nuances of meaning I might have missed the first time.

This exercise of reflection and rumination not only clarifies the past but also enlightens the future. With meaning, I can look forward to the future with hope and confidence. If the past is any indication, the future is going to be bright and even better. Because I am a creature who lives in time, my life is like an unfolding story. This gradual unfolding of my life makes me a person of hope, forever waiting.

Over the years, I have learned how and what it is to wait. Most of the time I have done so with a pretty good dose of patience and, yes, joy. From my early years as I little boy watching the road for my father to come home to my present senior years waiting for some important event in my life to happen, I have relished the joys of anticipating my blessings. Not all the blessings I have prayed and wished for have happened, at least not in the time and manner I expected. But the joyful waiting was as much a blessing as the receiving or the happening itself.

I love picking up people form the airport, specially loved ones like family or friends. I am extra attentive of people coming out of the terminal. I am extra aware of any announcements of the PA system about incoming flights. And there is always that joyful anticipation within me and my heart leaps up or skips a beat the moment I see the person I have come to pick up. Such simple joys.

I love gardening and see the plants growing. I wait for the tendrils to shoot out and when they do, it such a joy. I love it when the buds of new flowers begin sprouting out of my roses. I watch and wait everyday to catch the first hint of color bursting forth from the green buds. Until all at once, I have a full blown rose or a flower bush in a wild explosion of colors. Such simple joys.

Monday is my date night with Anabelle. I would rush through the week to get to Monday. Sometimes, the week cannot seem to move past enough for it to be Monday. But there is always some thrill in my spirit as I wait for Monday to come around again. Such simple joys.

Now multiply those simple joys of hopeful waiting and anticipation a hundredfold, a thousandfold, a millionfold. That is the joy of waiting that Advent is. I share in the ebullient joy of Jane and Jonathan as they wait for Christmas to happen and unfold. It is like the tumescence there is in creation as it yearns for its Savior to come.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. ~ Mary’s Magnificat

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”

as Isaiah the prophet said.”
John 1:6-8, 19-23

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