Patience in a Time of Distraction – Advent Reflection by Thomas Turner

by Christine Sine

This morning’s Advent reflection comes from Thomas Turner the Senior Editor, Literary Arts of GENERATE Magazine . Thomas blogs at  EverydayLiturgy.com. He is also on the ministry team at The Plant, a community cultivating love, truth, and compassion in Mahwah, New Jersey.

This is the time of year when people start voicing their opinions on how this year has gone by so fast.

It hasn’t for me.  Really.  This year went at a nice, even pace. It was savored more than previous years, something my wife and I have been trying to work on.  We are not that busy anymore, which is a great thing.  Time does not move quickly or slowly, it just moves.  And we have learned to enjoy that normalcy in the midst of so much frantic mania surrounding us.

Yet in our new found pace of life we are even more tried by the concept of waiting.  When time moved “quickly” we didn’t have to wait that long for the next big thing.  We were so busy that the next big thing was always close, and our lives were framed by hoping from next big thing to next big thing at a frantic pace.  Now that we have toned down our lives, the next big thing can be very far off.

So I find myself looking for distractions.  I have time on my hands.  Time to read, time to play video games, time to write, time that I should be using to finish off my Ph.D. applications.  I have time to be.

In this Advent season I have been noticing the patience aspect more than ever.  A series of changes and decisions are circling over me and my wife’s heads and it’s been stressful to realize we just have to wait.  In the waiting life must happen, and that’s been a lesson we are learning slowly.  In Advent the “waiting” is re-imagined each year, yet it is more waiting than we even realize.  The Holy Family waited for the birth, then waited around in Bethlehem, then fleeing to Egypt and waiting there.  It was a life of waiting in anticipation that this child was going to be everything the angels had promised.  I desire to have that kind of patience, to not become distracted but focus not on what lies ahead but instead on the here and now, to practice living patiently each day in a time of distractions, hoping for that day when life becomes more clear.

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