Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…


Advent comes with the subtle mood of waiting. This always intrigues me. Every year.



I’ve never been a patient person when it comes to the countless, seemingly inconsequential matters that meet us in daily life. Still, with deeper and often darker issues that arise in coping with things of life and death – with dealing with weighty matters over which we have little or no control, I find great richness and deep satisfaction in being patient. With waiting.

Advent belongs in that niche.

Beth shares an interesting quote from Henri Nouwen this morning that is well worth some thought.

“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

So, amidst the noise and clatter of “Merry Christmas”, it just could be an interesting move to try stepping back and casting a quiet vote for a “thoughtful Advent”.

What do you think?


6 responses to “Waiting…

  1. Faith Olson December 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I liked this because it dovetails with my experience in a Benedictine group that tries to adapt some of St. Benedict’s Rule to daily living outside the monastic community. The first rule is in the Prologue and says “Listen.” Perfect while waiting. There is more, of course, but we begin again.

  2. Donna Ronnebaum December 4, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Great post! I very much concur with your thoughts and those of Henri Nouwen. I find Advent a time of great introspection… an opportunity to take inventory [in my life] and revisit priorities and what is truly important to me and my loved ones. The rush to the outcome urged by the barrage of commercialism around us completely overlooks the process … of w a i t i n g. Enjoy the season!

  3. Donna Ronnebaum December 4, 2010 at 9:12 am

    oh… and p.s. – I’ve been listening again to the Sting cd you recommended last year. Very fitting for the season …. thanks, again!

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