by Shandra Newcom
God of the next, the waiting, the promise:
We humbly come to you and we bring all our stuff; all our things and fears, all our belongings and questions, all our purchases and uncertainties – that which is tangible and that which is intangible, and we bring it in hope.
We hope that we can live patiently in this Advent time.
We hope that we can be set free from that which holds us.
We hope that we can remember that this is a community, yours, that must make the journey together.
We confess that too often we insist on making it alone.
Remind us of our interdependence.
Grant us patience to live in encounter and to trust in your slow work.
We hope that we can take time to hear stories.
We hope that we can stop and learn and listen.
We hope that we can sit quietly long enough to know that you are here.
And that you are being born again in this season.
May the cycle of Advent be a spiral that leads us to the light of the world.
And may we wait, wait for you, Divine Love.
Spiritual Practice: Finding Time To Wait
Find a quiet place. Sit comfortably and read the three quotes, taking time in between each one to listen prayerfully to God. After you read a quotation, open your heart and mind and focus on your breathing, listen to the One who invites you into patience. Just sit and “be” with God who wants the best for you. After the final quote is read, offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the patience you are learning and the hope you are receiving. Take a deep, slow breath and know that the Divine Love that guides you into patience, journeys with you into Advent.
Patience is the virtue that shows us that the time of the soul and the time of the spirit are different than everyday time. Patience is required to be in healthy connection with soul and spirit. Patience concerns a particular form or way of waiting; it is one filled with expectation.
— Robert Sardello, The Power of Soul
Patience is something that is chosen; it is an active and intentional waiting which grows from an attitude of trust towards the essential goodness of life. It is a craft which must be learned through practice. It seems to me that every time I learn to extend my patience a little further, some new event will come along which stretches me just that bit more than I am prepared to go. I suspect that is the only way to develop patience — similar to athletes who incrementally increase their performances.
— Mike Riddell, Sacred Journey
Waiting is the practice of patience. I develop my ability to wait and listen, going deep into stillness. It is seeking without seeking. Deep slow breaths help me practice waiting in the present moment.
— Barbara Ann Kipfer