Not Everyone Can Wait
Here in southern Alberta, we find ourselves in the grip of quite the blizzard. It’s been snowing for about a day and a half and there’s more on the way. With the wind chill factored in, it’s -26 degrees out there. My wife and I woke up early today to check on the status of the roads and the schools and to peer curiously out our window. Surely no one would try to get out today, would they?! Well, it’s 8:30 am, and we have already pushed/shovelled out two neighbours who were determined to head out into the wintry wonderland, despite all the warnings to stay home and wait out the storm. Not everyone can wait, it seems.
After half an hour or so of pushing and shoveling, I stumbled back inside, poured myself a cup of coffee, and opened up today’s entry from God is in the Manger, the Advent collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings. The title for today was—I’m not joking!—“Not Everyone Can Wait.” Bonhoeffer has, obviously, a much different kind of impatience in mind than that evidenced by anxious Canadian commuters. A different kind of waiting for a different kind of destination.
Not everyone can wait: neither the sated nor the satisfied nor those without respect can wait. The only ones who can wait are people who carry restlessness around with them and people who look up with reverence to the greatest in the world. Thus, Advent can be celebrated only by those whose souls give them no peace, who know they are poor and incomplete, and who sense something of the greatness that is supposed to come, before which they can only bow in humble timidity, waiting until he inclines himself toward us—the Holy One himself, God in the child in the manger.