|Jessie & the Sunday School Children's Camp Kids - Dec 2012 [Photo from Jessie]|
. . . So, this year, with no finals, scorching hot temperatures, and more time to stop and think I decided to really try and get into the "Advent Spirit". How does one get into the "Advent Spirit"? Ha! I have no idea...and maybe some of you can give me some input on that? For me though, I decided to take a reflection approach. I wanted to reflect on "waiting" and "anticipation" and how they play a part in my daily life. How do we "wait" and "anticipate" while still being fully in the here and now?
I have found that many times our lives revolve around waiting and anticipating. I fondly remember many of my moments of anticipation in the last few years...waiting to go to college...waiting for summer...waiting for the end of finals...waiting for break....waiting for the championship meet...waiting for graduation...waiting for Malaysia...waiting to make friends...and waiting to go home. Is it ok to always be waiting for something while so many things are going on amidst the waiting I wonder? Does waiting mean that we disregard all else and focus solely on that anticipation? Can you wait and anticipate, but still be fully present in all of the other surroundings around you?
I think so. In Advent's case, I think that being present and fully "in" the things you do everyday is an integral part of awaiting the birth of Jesus. We are called to be amongst each other, showing the love that has been shown to us by Jesus coming down to earth, THIS is how we await the birth of the Christ child. Not with numbers and chains, and sitting idly as the days pass by.
For me, this is also how I am learning to live life here in Malaysia. Am I awaiting the arrival of new experiences? Yes. Am I awaiting to be changed and transformed by this experience? Yes. Am I awaiting to return home to my American friends and family? Yes. BUT this does not mean that I am not fully invested in this place, fully living and breathing and of course eating this new Malaysian life of mine.
I am awaiting all of these things by spending quality time with my new Malaysian friends and family, by line dancing every Sunday with some of my favorite church ladies, by riding bicycles with Sunday School children, by waving hello to my favorite guard outside of my apartment complex each morning, by singing with youth in broken Chinese on random evenings, by playing pick up games of badminton, and by stopping and reflecting on how much of a blessing this waiting is in my life. Yes, I'm thinking that maybe waiting is looking a bit different these days. It no longer means impatiently stopping and wishing time away, but rather valuing what it is to come, and celebrating the time and experiences that will make that future and that rebirth possible.
Happy Advent Everyone! I hope that you find the time to reflect on your "waiting" and what this season brings for you as well.
Peace, Love, and Happiness!