Archives for posts with tag: anticipation

 

Call it coincidence. Call it ironic. I say it was God’s sense of humor.

facebook-god-has-a-divine-sense-of-ea89e3

My post last Thursday explained my difficulty with waiting. I admitted that I am an impatient person. Not a good wait-er.

On the day that post appeared one week ago, my wife and I went to a Christmas luncheon and planned to return home mid-afternoon. Before we left that morning I called my doctor. I had been having head and neck pain for about a week and wanted to know what he thought I should do about it. During the luncheon his nurse returned my call with instructions from the doctor to go to the emergency room. They might need to do some “imaging of the head” in an effort to find the problem.

Following my doctor’s recommendation, I went to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. When I arrived at 1:30 PM there were a lot of people in the waiting room who looked like they needed to be there. Unlike most of the other patients I walked in upright, showed no outward evidence of the need for emergency treatment, and was dressed like I was going to an important event.

emergency_room_591A few minutes after arriving at the emergency department I was called into the triage room where I provided them with the details of my situation. After waiting a while they called my name and I was ushered into a space enclosed by curtains where an EKG was administered, blood was drawn, and an IV was installed in my right arm. No explanation was given until I asked why this was necessary.

I was told to sit in a wheel chair and wait (for what?). In a few minutes a young man came and wheeled me through a maze of treatment rooms and down a hallway with no explanation until I asked where we were going. He replied that I was going to have a CT scan of my head. Shortly after I received that information we stopped at the end of the hallway and the man who had been pushing me disappeared into a room without a word. I sat there waiting, not knowing what was next.

Finally the man returned and pushed me into a room where there was a huge machine. He told me to remove my glasses, lie down on my back, and rest my head in a certain place. Assuming this was when he was going to complete the “imaging of my head” which my doctor had suggested, I asked and he said yes.

5100_fullimage_foto20pet20ct20scan1_400x267

After the scan I was wheeled back to the waiting room and told I would get the results in 30-45 minutes. It was three o’clock. I waited. An hour passed and my wife asked the receptionist what was happening. She was told they were waiting for a room so the doctor could talk with me. I waited. Four hours later I was ushered back to the treatment area and was given a seat in the hallway where the doctor came and reported the results of all the procedures.

primary_care_physician

The attending physician was very pleasant and informative. She delivered the good news that all tests were negative. Nothing in the blood lab work, EKG, or CT scan showed anything abnormal. She said the cause of my headaches was most likely muscular so Extra Strength Tylenol and a couple of days of a mild muscle relaxer would probably solve the problem. Seven hours after I entered the emergency department I left for home. I had waited, not so patiently I might add, but in the end I received good news

The third week of Advent is almost over. We continue to wait in anticipation of the Coming of the Christ-Child. Ten more days of waiting until Christmas. Then comes the Good News. Christ is born in Bethlehem. It is worth the wait!

Jamie Jenkins

waiting-poetry-book-1-2015121508

I am not a good waiter. I am not talking about being employed as a server in a restaurant. Although I know that is a hard job and I have never tried it, I know I would not be good at it. No, I am not a good wait-er.

I have a hard time standing in line to purchase tickets to an event or to enter a facility. Sitting at red traffic lights or creeping along at a snail’s pace in traffic makes me crazy. It has been said that I will drive 20 minutes out of the way just to keep moving. I guess you could say that I lack patience.

I want things to happen when they are supposed to happen. Don’t delay the start of an event or a meeting because others are still on their way. Begin at the scheduled time. Get on with it. Don’t make me wait.

Because of my impatience, I need some imposed discipline. Some structure that requires me to stop and take time.

This time of the year is a challenge. Once Thanksgiving Day has passed I am ready to get on to Christmas Day. But the Christian season of Advent makes me wait and that is a good thing regardless of how hard it is.

0000_advent

Advent is the period preceding the Christmas season. It begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays. In 2016 Advent began on November 27.

advent-kids

The word advent, from Latin, means “the coming.” As the Christmas season has become more secular, with advertisers urging holiday gift-givers to buy and buy some more, Advent still focuses more on the observance of ancient customs. Christian families find quiet moments lighting candles in the Advent wreath, and children use Advent calendars to count the days until Christmas.

advent-wreath-wk2-m

I heard a radio commercial that stated, “Christmas brings to mind Santa Claus, Polar Bears, and Coke.” The Christian observance of Advent counters that perspective and focuses our thoughts to the real meaning of Christmas- the birth of the Christ Child and the promised return of the Messiah.

It is unknown when the period of preparation for Christmas that is now called Advent first began but it was certainly in existence from the late part of the 5th Century. Originally, it was a time when converts to Christianity readied themselves for baptism. Advent was considered a pre-Christmas season of Lent when Christians devoted themselves to prayer and fasting.

By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world.

So for the last 1600 years Orthodox Christianity has observed a four week period of spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. We wait, as difficult as that might be, in anticipation for the coming of the Messiah who came first as the Baby of Bethlehem and will one day come again as the Victorious Lord of Life.

advent-video3hero

As we joyfully await the coming of Christ let us pray for the needs of the church and the world. As we anticipate His coming, let us be faithful in all aspects of our lives doing those things that will show that we have turned from our sins and are following Christ.

Jamie Jenkins

 

Newborn baby

We lived in a  tiny town in Tennessee when our first child was born. I remember that long night in the labor room of that little hospital with my wife. Waiting. Worrying. Wondering Then they took my wife into the delivery room and sent me outside to wait.

After a while a nurse come by with what I thought was dirty linen. I didn’t know that she had our new baby wrapped in those cloths. A few minutes later she came and asked if I wanted to see my son.

I couldn’t believe it was over- or had just begun. The months of anticipation and preparation had ended and now the exciting and frightening journey of parenthood was underway.

In a couple of days we brought our firstborn home to the tiny apartment where we lived while I was in college. Several hundred miles from home. No family nearby. Scared. Excited. What were we supposed to do with this newborn baby? We had no clue.

infant-jesus-born-01

Twenty centuries earlier another young couple had a baby in a small out of the way place. Away from home and family. Little resources. Less than desirable circumstances. I wonder if Mary and Joseph had some of the same fears and concerns as we had at the arrival of their firstborn.

It has been forty three years since the birth of our oldest child and I realize that we were not really alone when he was born. God was with us. And through the years as he grew and we tried to guide and guard him, we were not alone. Our efforts at parenting, as inadequate as they were, were complemented by the One who created all of us.

Things have not always gone as we planned. There have been moments of exhilaration and despair. Mountain tops and deep valleys. Things we hoped for have not always been realized and other things we never dreamed of have occurred. Over the course of more than four decades of parenthood I have often asked why. Much that has occurred, both pleasing and puzzling, has left me wondering how it happened this way. Yet through it all I believe God has been with us and with our children.

Parenthood

There have been times that I wished things had taken a different turn and other times I have marveled at the wonderful outcome. But through it all I have trusted that our Heavenly Father watches over us.

I wonder if Mary and Joseph experienced the same kind of emotions as their son grew. How did they feel when the path that they had planned for him was not followed? When he was praised and when he was persecuted? Did they have questions and doubts?

The birth of our first child, and the later births of two other children, changed the course of our lives forever. The birth of Mary and Joseph’s boy not only brought changes to the two of them but ultimately every human being since then.

Thank God for our children. And especially the Child of Bethlehem named Jesus! Merry Christmas!

Jamie Jenkins