Devotion: Waiting Without Lines

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.   Isaiah 26:8

Advent is a season of waiting.  I hate to wait.  Look around today…

  • People are standing in line to bull-rush Wal-Mart.
  • People are standing in line to watch a SciFi movie with a Wookie.
  • People are standing in line to hit that leftover turkey in the fridge.
  • People are standing in line to grab a Christmas Tree.
  • People are standing in line to visit Santa.
  • People are driving in long lines trying to get back to their homes.
  • People are lining up their December calendars.

The term makes me think of long lines snaking in and around things.  Waiting in line is an extremely arduous task of doing nothing.  However, you can wait without standing in line.

Recently, I read an article in the Atlantic that stated the concept of standing in line is a recent development dating to the 19th century.  What I assumed had been occurring since the dawn of time is actually a Western development.

We stand in line for order.  We stand in line so we can calculate the length of time it will take.  We stand in line to promote first-come-first-serve.

As we hit the Christmas Crunch, notice that we create lines in an attempt to bring order to the chaos.

However, the Christmas Story is about God breaking into our order to help unsettle us.  He disrupts the status quo; cuts in line…and makes himself “embarrassingly available.”

The God of the universe infiltrated our world in an overcrowded inn where he could have been trampled.  The God of the universe placed Himself as an infant who could not stand let alone in a line.  The God of the universe filled the silent nights with the cries of a newborn.  The God of the universe brought chaos to our picture perfect lives.

What if rather than waiting around in a Norman Rockwell-esque illusion of the Christmas Season, we stepped out of line to follow our savior.  Notice how Isaiah describes their “waiting”–it was filled with movement, they waited by walking in the way of God.  It was not a wasted waiting but a time of active preparation to make ourselves more available, and to prepare the way.

As our calendars are clogged with functions, gatherings, shopping trips, and endless lines, are we making ourselves embarrassingly available?

Are we waiting and wasting time in long lines rather than stepping out of line to make ourselves embarrassingly available to those who need us most? Are you available to…

  • …your spouse and family?
  • …a friend this Christmas?
  • …a coworker?
  • …those in the Rescue Mission?
  • …the child who has no one waiting for them?
  • …the sick and dying? the marriage falling apart next door?
  • …God?

Or are you too busy standing in line?

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