December 5th by Joel Hammond
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
“Surely coming, but when? Why is waiting so difficult? Anticipation, anticipation. Is makin’ me late. Is keepin’ me waitin’.”
Carly Simon penned these lyrics a little over 50 years ago, and shortly thereafter they were used as an accompaniment to an iconic Heinz Ketchup commercial. God is slow good. We are often in a hurry to get those things we want, when we want them. On our time. The things that are out of our control, however, seem to take forever. As demonstrated to the people of Israel, God’s time marches to a different cadence. Forty days turns into forty years. As an aging adult, the season of God’s gift of Christ the infant savior seems to come and go more quickly as each year passes, compressing yearly lists of things to do and rituals that seem to be increasingly difficult to accomplish. Oh, if only I could be like a child again! Slowness and stillness. That’s how I remember Christmas as a child.
As a grade schooler, I experienced a slow pivot from Thanksgiving to Advent Season. To top it off, waiting for Christmas Eve, followed by Christmas Day, poured slower than molasses. I had to bide my time by searching out the hiding places my parents had for Christmas gifts, even carefully peeking through the wrapping of some finished gifts in the attic, doing my best to not leave a trace of my transgressions! Oh, the waiting!
“A small part of a hope, of a love that exists.
In the eyes of a child, you will see.”
John Lodge of The Moody Blues composed these words when I was nine years old. I used Christmas money from my Detroit grandparents to purchase a cassette tape that contained this song, Eyes of a Child (Parts I and II), which I played over and over again, well into my late teenage years.
God has provided us the tools of patience and grace to reset our anticipatory clocks, so we can attempt to slow down our Advent and Christmas experiences to what they once were, in the eyes of a child. Slow down this Advent Season to truly experience the wonderment of the Christ Child. God is slow good.