Waiting, Patience, more waiting … the heart of Advent

How long is this inner transformation going to take anyway?”

I certainly do wonder.

Do you ever think, “Gee. By now I thought I’d be a better person than I am.”

Me, too! 

So often I think of Romans 12:2 that says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

This walk of faith feels like one step forward, two steps back.  Three steps forward, one step back.  I know it’s every day, every moment.  Walking, walking, walking.  Left foot (saying “yes” to God); Right foot (saying “no” the evil). Left foot (counting others better than myself); Right foot (thinking thoughts that are pure, lovely, gracious); Left foot (repenting and saying, “Please forgive me,” when I hurt people.); Right foot (Fighting to find time to read the Word and pray).

Eugene Peterson calls the walk “a long obedience in the same direction.” 

It is deciding, as Paul writes in Romans, to over and over and over “walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

So you can imagine how much this impatient pilgrim needs today’s Advent readings:

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7-8

—–

 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. II Peter 3:8-9 

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