I haven’t been writing as much the last three or so weeks. You can blame that on my computer mostly. And a week of vacation.
You see, about three weeks ago I uploaded the latest operating system update on my mac. I’ve done this many time before. Every single time without a hitch. This is the first time I regretted doing it. The main reason is that this has caused some problems with my mac. Web browsers don’t seem to be cooperating like they used to. And in many cases, I just sit there waiting for the browser to load simple web pages. Things have slowed down considerably.
I asked around to friend who know a thing or two about computers. And then we figured it out. I was asked how old my computer was. I didn’t remember. When I looked it up, it turns out that my computer is older than I thought. I purchased it before I started Seminary — in the fall of 2012. That’s just over 7 years ago now.
That’s the problem. Not a bad run really. I’ve gotten great use out of my faithful, hardworking mac. I really like my mac. But apparently, technology has advanced that my old sturdy mac can’t handle the software anymore.
So it was time to buy a new one. I found one that I wanted, and I ordered it. It was to arrive the middle of November – November 19 to be exact. Only November 19 came and went with no computer.
Then I changed the delivery option. I waited over a week to get confirmation that the delivery option was confirmed. I called and checked on the status. I didn’t get good solid answers. On several days it seemed as though no one knew where the package was at all. How does a delivery company not know where a package is?
Then I received notification that the package would be delivered on Saturday. And then Saturday came and went. No computer. I’m guessing that I’ll get an update stating the false hope that the package will arrive on Monday, today.
This entire saga reminds me of Advent. Advent is a season of waiting. Patiently. It is a season of frustration. A season in which we are filled with messages of expectation, but at the same time, no one seems to know what exactly to expect or what it will mean.
Advent is a season that is out of touch with out immediate society. As I’ve waited for my computer, I’ve been amazed how sucked into the immediacy I have fallen. The computer was supposed to come 2nd day air. Yet, here we are, two weeks later, not sure if the package is even in the same state.
Advent messes with us. It forces us to wait. It forces us to confront the brokenness of the world – broken promises, broken work, broken lives, broken health, broken relationships, broken politics, broken financial systems.
Advent forces us to look. It forces us to deal with our own impatience. It offers no false comfort or forced fun. I just deals with reality. Advent doesn’t care that the world is already celebrating Christmas – or the world’s version of Christmas anyway: consumerism, more stuff, debt, stress, etc.
Advent gives a message of hope for the future and quietly tells us to listen to the promise of God. No quick fix. No immediate delivery. No catering to each of our wants.
Advent instead forces us to hear our culture’s message of buy more stuff in order to make people happy. Advent puts our ears to this message and forces us to hear the reality of it – that it is a lie – if only we stop and listen for just a short while.
And so the delivery of my computer is like Advent. I wait. I am forced to wait without specific answers. I am forced to change my schedule. I am forced to examine myself and what I do. I am forced to hear the Good News – that there is nothing that I can do that will hurry this up. I have no power to. I don’t even have the power to know when the hour will be.
Advent is a season of waiting. I’m starting to really like this season. It offers something the world can never offer: less.