By Jodi H. Beyeler, vice president for communication and people strategy
This week’s theme: Getting ready while we wait
As I tell my 8-year-old regularly, this is a season of waiting — in line to make purchases, for the joy of gifts, but more importantly for seeing how God will show up in our broken lives, our suffering communities and the crazy world around us.
And I’m struggling with two conflicting pulls on my mind and emotions as I wait for God: anticipation and mindfulness. Can we hold them both together?
On one hand, I understand that people who spend time anticipating enjoyable experiences report being happier than those who don’t. This reminds me to actually plan for and prepare both physically and mentally for the good things on the horizon. I’ve found that it helps me to value the experience even more when I take this time. Unfortunately, anticipation can also get in the way and lead to a lot of unproductive worrying, especially when the future feels so unknown and unpredictable.
I’ve come to believe that practices of mindfulness are even more important. Mindfulness call us to pay attention, to be grateful for what is, to live in the moment. When we are able to be mindful, we can actually notice what God is doing and what is changing, and then are better able to accept and embrace those changes.
So this year, as we get ready while we wait, know that it’s good to be an active participant by anticipating, planning and preparing, but God most needs us to slow down, be patient and pay attention. If we can, we will discover that God is waiting with and for us.