– Br. Michael, ofm
I grew up in an amazing time of listening options for music. The coming to life of an 8-track, the warmth of vinyl records, the convenience of cassettes and the clarity of sound on CD. Now I simply just go to my favorite app and scroll. I realize now with listening to a record I was being taught in small ways the gift of waiting and patience. It takes time to prepare the player, select the right side of the record and then carefully place it on the turntable and if the needle (or stylus) did not have an automatic option, you had to lower it to the record. Each of these important elements so as to hear the songs were lessons in waiting and patience.
The season of Advent is a call to waiting and patience. The world around us is in Christmas overdrive and yet our Advent journey is slowly (or even if quickly) unfolding with invitations to be attentive to how we wait and lessons of patience. Are we agitated in our waiting? Do we see the gifts patience is teaching us? Can we invite waiting and patience into our Advent days ahead?
When I was a child, I loved the day Mom reached out the Christmas records. Her stack of vinyl was stored away each year and released sometime in December (another lesson in waiting and patience). It was a magical day when returning from school or from some snow time and the lights of the living room were turned down, the winter darkness was settling in and the big chest record player lofted out carols and hymns to greet us as we entered our warm home. Walking into the darkened living room was like walking into a grand concert hall as the songs crescendoed and faded out. With only the light of the record player control panel gently I would stand and watch the tender ebb and flow of the record producing sounds of orchestras and beautiful voices. I was captivated and held (then and still today when I stop and listen to a record). In some ways I was caught up in waiting and patience, allowing this moment to fill me and simply be.
I’ve been thinking about the records and songs and the need for waiting and patience as we journey in this Advent time. I am being reminded in this season to wait with expectant hope; listening for the invitations of newness and revival. I am patiently tuning my ears to the voice of God which comes to me in others, in creation, in the quiet and in the music as my heart prepares room for the One whose birth we wait to celebrate.
What are you listening too?
What are you waiting for this Advent?
What is patience calling you to pay attention to?
For your listening and heart reflection as we journey in this Second Week of Advent:
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – Rain for Roots
A familiar Advent hymn with an awareness of patient waiting. This version features children voices calling out with longing and promise.
How are you waiting for the Savior?
People Look East – Marty Haugen
This is one of my most favorite Advent Hymns. It has a great feel of preparation to it and yet an invitation to patiently wait for the time to celebrate.
How does patience invite us into greater awareness in our living?
As this Advent Season unfolds
may the gift of waiting and patience help us to attune to the song of our heart
and may the sounds and songs of the season guide us on the journey
as our God comes to us in unexpected ways.
Photo Credit: Joe Vasquez