I woke up this morning expecting to see snow outside – or at least a covering of ice from the sleet that was predicted as the precursor to a major snowstorm. I had already planned two or three days of cancellations, depending on where it happens when. But I’m still waiting. Cars are whizzing by on our road and my sinuses are telling me that it’s coming but I can’t call or e-mail anyone about late appointments yet. I have to wait for the first visible sign of what the reality will be. And I wonder what the status is in Syracuse, 80 miles away, where I have tentative appointments tomorrow and/or Thursday depending on the storm. It’s too early to call; I have to wait. I can feel the tension in my body and my mind. Once the precipitation appears I’ll be able to spring into action, make plans, see what’s possible and settle into an agenda that will probably take my work life most of the way to Christmas because of the rescheduling of this busy week. For now, though, I have to wait.
We all have times of waiting, some like my morning today. Sometimes our wait is long and much more meaningful – pregnancy, for example. And what a bundle of feelings and events accompany that experience! The Hebrew people waited for thousands of years for a Messiah; many still wait. Those of us who believe that Christ is the fulfillment of that promise are experiencing again the ritual of waiting as we count the days to Christmas.
I am full of questions this morning, occasioned by something as mundane as the weather. What is it really that I’m waiting for? How am I to be while I wait? Will my life be any different after Christmas because of having spiritualized these weeks of waiting – and, really, how am I growing in consciousness of my capacity for change until then? Maybe the storm will miss us and then I’ll just have to pick up and go on with the routine of the days that might have been an opportunity for silence and contemplation. But maybe this brief time has been enough. I feel calmer now, more awake. And isn’t that what it’s all about?