Advent Week 1 – November 28, 2022

The Wisdom of Advent – Learning to Wait

Week 1: Hope

It’s worthwhile to repeat the Henri Nouwen quote from yesterday. “We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun. So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is always a movement from something to something more.”1

Nouwen claims that waiting for change is a process we can’t clearly see when we are in the midst of it. We could take this thought one step further and consider that waiting happens when God has started a process of change in us, but we are not yet fully aware of it.
Eugene Peterson offers this perspective, “The assumption of spirituality is that always God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it.”2

Consider whether this is a helpful perspective for you.

  • Are you aware of what God has already started changing in you?
  • Is there any way God is asking you to respond or participate now, while you’re still waiting?


1. Henri Nouwen, “Advent: Waiting” in Seeds of Hope – A Henri Nouwen Reader, 157.

2. Rodney Clapp, “Eugene Peterson: A Monk Out of Habit,” in Christianity Today, Apr 3, 1987, 25. (Quoted in Sue Monk Kidd’s book, When the Heart Waits)


  1. Hi Cathy, Happy Advent! Thank you for providing this perspective about waiting being an active event in which we are called to participate.


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