Advent is a season of waiting. We are waiting for Christmas, for the birth of the Christ child. It’s also the season in which the church focuses on waiting for that second coming of Christ, promised to the early Christians but still, as we see it, waiting to be fulfilled.

Waiting is often a difficult thing for us. Remember how difficult it was to wait until Christmas to open those presents under the tree, or until you were old enough to drive a car, or vote? As a culture, we don’t wait very well. We want instant replies, instant results, instant gratification.

And yet many things take time to be ready. “Instant” is not always “best.” In this season I find myself thinking about how difficult it might have been, at least at times, for Mary to wait, month after month, as the baby Jesus grew in her womb. Children born prematurely are not ready to face the world; their lungs aren’t ready to breathe, their bodies to digest, their eyes to see clearly.

Do you ever find yourself hurrying things along? Have you ever tried to help a butterfly out of a cocoon, only to damage its wings in the process so that it’s never able to fly?

What are you waiting for this December? What is in the cocoon stage in your life right now? What needs just a little more time before it’s ready to face this world? What would it take for you to give it, to give yourself, just a little more time?

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