Visual - Amy stepping up onto a small crate. The word Soap Box is painted on the crate's side.
When I was little my Aunt Dianne decided that it was her mission to teach me patience. She would ask, "Now Amy, what does patience mean?" and I would promptly reply with the definition she had instructed, "To wait." Then I would go back to whatever impatient behavior I had been annoying everyone with before she asked.
About ten years ago a co-worker told me that if someone wrote a book about me it would be titled, "Young woman in a hurry."
Patience eludes me, always has and still does.
So a few years back when I wrote about Advent in my Christmas letter many folks were surprised that I spoke of patience. Waiting, watching, and hoping - that was what I said Advent was.
I never claimed to be good at it.
After careful consideration and after listening to my friend Michael talk this weekend I've revised my definition of Advent.
That's my new definition of Advent. Am I impatient for my presents? Not really. Am I impatient to be off of work? Nope. Am I impatient to see my kids open their presents and scatter them around the house? Really not.
I'm impatient for the world to change. That's what Advent is right? We are waiting for the arrival of the Christ child, whose arrival would impact the world and change it.
This season of hope, where we believe in miracles, where we focus on charity and make the platitudes about it lasting all year long. Changing the world.
Well I just don't see it. I don't see it in me, and I don't see it in you, and I don't see it in the world. I still swallow my comments when faced by blatant intolerance. I still go to work instead of marching on Washington to end the war. I don't irritate every last person I meet by endlessly showing them pictures of children withering in orphanages and begging them to adopt.
Patience is complacence.
When people say that change is slow - in the past I would nod and agree. No longer.
Now I'm going to try asking, Why?
This Advent, let's not wait on the world to change. Let's be the change we want to see in the world. Yes, I stole that line from a bumper sticker. Let's be the change and let's not wait until tomorrow and let's not be Patient about it either.
Advent - the season of impatience.
Stepping down from soapbox...