December 14 Monday Eager
“EAGER” … marked by enthusiastic or impatient desire or interest. Eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint. (Merriam-Webster)
You remember the feeling: waking on Christmas morning, eager to run to the living room to discover exactly what gifts are waiting under the tree, waiting impatiently at the top of the stairs until everyone is up and ready to charge in together. To find a Biblical example of eager in the Nativity story, think of angels—eager to deliver the news of the birth; shepherds—eager to rush to the scene to see for themselves; and wise men—eager to follow the star and eager to save the newborn from the threat of death by choosing another way home. For me, eager implies an inner “tug”—something calling to us, drawing us forward, attracting us, stirring us, exciting us. But perhaps there is another side to eager, the opposite side of the coin: trepidation, caution, hesitation, uncertainty. As I read the Biblical account, there is a lot of trepidation going on in the Nativity story in the midst of all that eagerness. Mary—as a young mother about to deliver the Son of God; Joseph—choosing Mary as his bride and helping with the birth in the barn (as I like to assume); those poor shepherds and brilliant wise men who really had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
This season, as we squint to see the signs of God with us and try to listen with deeper listening ears for a word from God, maybe that feeling of being eager can become ours—eager to live in the companionship of God, eager to make our way into the flow of life lived in communion with Holy Spirit, eager to align our vision with what we believe to be the leadership of God’s vision. Maybe there is a way for us to live in the tension, one hand holding the feeling of being eager and the other holding that feeling of trepidation. That’s the life of faith, isn’t it? May God bless you with an eager heart this Advent season and with the strength of faith to endure the hidden uncertainties. Amen.