Advent Reflection: 8th December - David Gatward

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Every day this Advent we will be sharing reflections from Christian authors. Today's is by David Gatward.

Eden Advent Devotional

Wild Patience

I have a phrase stuck to the wall of my office: ‘A wild patience has taken me this far’ (Adrienne Rich). Beautiful, isn’t it? At first, the concept is difficult to understand. How on earth can patience be wild? Surely that’s impossible! Patience is all about waiting, right? So how can you wait with wildness? Is that not disruptive? Does that not actually mean that you’re the annoying one in the queue, huffing and puffing and tapping your feet in the hope that things will get moving soon? After all, places to go, people to see … Busy! Busy! Busy!

Er, no.

The whole idea of a wild patience is one that I find really rather exciting. Because to me it says that yes, you have plans, and yes, you have things to do, and yes, there are things to come, but the only way to see all of that to fruition is to go at them with a patience which feeds off your passion and faith, belief and drive and, at times, sheer bloody-mindedness.

We live in the world of the instant and the immediate. Everything is NOW. Want something? Just click and it’s yours. Free delivery with that? No problem. Waiting, it seems, is not an option. However, as Christians, waiting is a key part of the whole mystery of what we believe and what we are. And Advent gives us a chance to examine not only what we are waiting for, but what we are doing with that waiting.

In John 10:10 we read, that Jesus came so that we may have life, ‘and have it to the full.’ So to me it’s pretty clear that we are not called to sit around a bit and wait for the inevitable (whatever that actually is). Instead, we are called to have a full life.

How many times have you said, ‘Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again’? Jesus conquered death, giving us eternal life, but at the same time we must wait for his return. Is that not the very essence of wild patience? We are saved and yet still we must wait?

Advent is wild patience. It presents us each year with the opportunity to examine how we are preparing ourselves for Jesus’ return. If we are tempted to sit around with smug ‘we’re all right, Jack’ grins on our faces, then we have totally disconnected from the true meaning of God’s love.

The kingdom of God is both now and not yet. We look ahead and prepare for Jesus’ return and how that affects the way we live our lives. And in the meantime, we fill our lives with a wild patience, pouring into every moment we have to live and breathe, everything we can do to show that we have lived a full life. That is what wild patience is. And we must let it take us ever onward and into the arms of the one who loves us unconditionally.

David Gatward

David Gatward is an award-winning author with a national reputation as a creative writing tutor and motivational speaker. Working with primary and secondary schools, his aims are simple: to encourage and promote a love of reading and writing, and to help those who work with him unlock their creativity and discover the writer hidden in all of us.

Help I'm a New Dad is David Gatward's latest book, published by Kevin Mayhew. 

8th December

December 8th, 2017 - Posted & Written by The Editor

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