There’s an App For That…

Advent, Week 1, Day 2

No, not a Droid thing. But a practical application for the theme of “waiting” this week.

Know what I find most difficult about the holiday season? (People whining about it? Well, yes. Unless I’m the one whining. Then it’s ok).  What bugs me most is how long it takes to run a simple errand. I try to simplify my life as much as possible in December. I shop online so I don’t have to run from store to store; i cook at home more and eat out less; i say “no” to some things; but i still have to go to the grocery store, or the bank, maybe even a store or 2 to pick up a gift card… And it seems like there is just MORE of everything between me and there. More traffic on the roads, more stuff in the aisles, more people waiting in line. Try as I may to stay out of the fray…well, the fray just comes with the season.

If you feel the same way, here’s a coping device that can double as a spiritual practice and even a missional moment: Pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray for that person who just cut you off on the interstate, rather than flashing them a festive hand gesture. Pray that they might know the peace of Christ, rather than the hurried chaos that led them to inconvenience you. Pray for the people crowding your personal space at the check out line. Pray that they might know the joy of family gathering time and service to others, and not just the strain of running and doing. Say prayers of thanks that you have the resources to buy food, and to buy gifts for your family.

Sure, if you have a droid in hand, you could fill the time with Angry Birds, or that talking cat thing that my kids love.  But then…well, Jesus might be standing right next to you in line, and you’ll have missed it.

This is what we mean by “active waiting.” Do something worthwhile with all that standing around time, and it’s no longer wasted. Nor will you end the day just feeling spent. You will have put back into the hurry and worry some small element of grace. And really, isn’t that worth waiting for?

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About Erin Wathen

Rev. Erin Wathen is the Senior Pastor of Saint Andrew Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Olathe, KS (www.sacchome.org). She's a Kentucky native, a long-time desert dweller, and she writes about the sacred thread that runs through pretty much everything. For more info, click the 'about' tab above...

  • Patricia

    I’m going to use this spiritual practice. Sort of an inner kindness to others.

  • http://trishadm.wordpress.com TrishaDM

    Fabulous idea. I am going to give it a try!
    I have a friend who prays while walking between offices (he has a 5 minute walk). He now misses his time with God when he doesn’t have to make the trip a few times per day.


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