Here we are again. (Stop). Waiting. (Stop). Staring at the bumper-stickers of the car in front of us. (Stop).
Sometimes, there is a moment that we get our hopes up. Sometimes, it seems like there is an opening. Sometimes the road seems to clear, and all of the red lights in front of us seem to blink off one by one, and the congestion clears and we feel our hearts rise and we hit the gas just a little.
Clearly, stop and go traffic is evidence of the total depravity of humanity (Stop.) We are here because of our dependence on fossil fuels. (Stop). And our need to each drive individually in our own independent bubble, on a freeway to where everyone is going. And so the net result is that we get to poison the earth slowly while going nowhere at all (Stop).
And there is deep within my soul, this small fire of impatience. (Stop). This is not where I would like to be and I (Stop) feel (Stop) my (Stop) temperature (Stop) rising (Stop.) Progress is so slow, and though my soul yearns to leap forward, those cars ahead are remarkably solid (Stop.)
Every Advent they say we are waiting for God to arrive, but why don’t they say how much anger there is in waiting. (Stop). Waiting is not neutral. Waiting is not time idly passing before the thing you want to happen, happens. Waiting is holding in the deep contrast the place you want to be and the very different place you are now, knowing that the only bridge between here and there is the minutes ticking themselves away. (Stop).
If only I was waiting for the Kingdom of God with the same kind of single-minded intensity that makes me wish this traffic would move (Stop.) If only I could picture in my mind so clearly, that I could just see a world where all of God’s children are fed. If only I could picture so clearly a place where those who were high and low got all mixed up, where children led the way, where all the people had a place to lay their head, where wars ceased, and the lion lies down with the lamp and justice and righteousness reign and, (STOPSTOPSTOP… whew…)
God, could you take this still small fire of anger in my heart, and direct it at something that matters? (Stop). Expand my vision, from my fury at this midsize sedan that is trying to cut me off, to something that is really worth being angry about. (Stop). Kindle my anger at something that matters, and there is plenty to choose from-like poverty in a world of plenty, like systems of injustice, like children who are endangered by war, like the ravaging of the earth through climate change and dumb cars (Stop). Help me to be so angry at things that matter, that I feel this same coil within me that is ready to move to make something happen. (Stop) And feel compelled to move and act in ways that matter (Stop).
And for those things that I cannot change. Let me (Stop). Give them over to you. (Stop). To let go of my anger (Stop). And somehow (Stop). Let it (Go).
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