14 December 2010

Nurturing the Moment

During this season of Advent, here are some profound nuggets of truth I'm learning on a deeper level.

Advent is the time when we practice the discipline of waiting. We focus our attention on the hope to come. We set our hearts on God’s not-yet-seen promises rather than our unfulfilling circumstances in the present. We join the saints who even now are crying “How long?” before God’s ultimate Kingdom shows itself (Rev 6:10), longing for the world to be put to rights. We take the long view, keep our eyes on the big picture, and walk on.

Henri Nouwen in his writings points out that waiting is not doing nothing and twiddling our thumbs. Waiting is a vital, engaged, active stance we take in the life of faith. It’s a matter of responding to God in the present—right here and now, in the wilderness—hearing and nourishing ourselves on the presence of Jesus. (Ps 27:14)

Henri Nouwen’s words drive this home. He describes waiting as “nurturing the moment.”

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word “patience” means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Waiting, then, is not passive. It involves nurturing the moment, as a mother nurtures the child that is growing in her womb.”- Henri Nouwen, Eternal Seasons

God is teaching me tons about waiting as we plant Axiom Church in Syracuse. I must remember that waiting is active. Sitting under the weight of this tension forms my heart and character. I’m tempted to find a way to slink out from under this weight. But the vision is being nurtured in my own soul as I sit still. Being with Jesus changes me more than doing for Jesus.

inspired by Henri Nouwen and Chaplain Mike

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