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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Time…interrupted in Normal Heights


Time…interruptedIt’s inevitable.  Something goes wrong with the internet connection at home or the cable service and I have to call to get a repair person to come out and fix it.  So I dial the number and I explain my plight and then it happens…every single time.  They tell me blandly that someone will be out on a weekday “sometime between 8 and 12” or “one and five p.m.”   Yes, the best estimate we can discern for their arrival is literally always a four-hour block of time.

And you know, what drives me crazy about this is not that I have to wait for them to arrive.  I’m fine with that.  I can bring work home and have my laptop there and do plenty of things while I wait. But what bothers me about is just that I never know exactly when the repair person is going to arrive, and so each and every moment is possibly the one when the doorbell will ring.

Here’s why that gets to me.  Say the appointment window is anytime between 8am and noon.  Well, starting at 7:30 I’m starting to wonder if they might show up early and so I feel like I need to be already showered, shaved, dressed for the day, teeth brushed, etc…   (For some reason I feel like I need to be all “put together” for a repair person I don’t know.)  So there I am all dressed up and waiting at 7:30.

About 8am, my anticipation really cranks up.  I do my best to get some work done, but can’t focus because I’m always expecting to be interrupted at any moment.  I’m hesitant to use the restroom on the off chance that that will be the moment when they arrive.  It feels like every car door is them.  Every cough of someone walking by on the sidewalk is their signal they are getting ready to knock on the door. And for the next four hours, I wait.  I sit on the edge of arrival and believe that now is the moment…and now…and now.

And I do this until 12:30 when, inevitably, the call comes.  “Mr. Ross, we need to reschedule our technician.  How does tomorrow from one to five sound?”  Sigh…

Anticipation can be a strange thing.  You know, if you are anticipating something wonderful, time spent waiting can be great.  It can sweeten the moment when a child is born or a long-time friend arrives for dinner.  But also, as I have discovered, if you are not prepared to wait then anticipation can be terribly difficult.  It can make the waiting harder than it should be, and even worse it can distract you from the here and now.
The Bible actually has a lot to say about anticipation and waiting, but mostly about how we should wait as people of faith.  So over these next four weeks of Advent, we are going to talk about what it means to wait on God and  how we should wait on God in our lives and the world.  Each week the Scripture will give us a different aspect on how we can anticipate the arrival of God’s grace in our lives without losing the “here and now.”  We will practice waiting and also be talking about how through this holiday season we can be ready for those times and places when God breaks in to our lives.  Be here each week for this Advent sermon series called “Time…interrupted” as we hear how God works through interruptions and we can be ready for those moments.

We’ll see you on Sunday and if you’d like to read the first weeks Scripture before then you can find it here:

Rev Brent Ross grew up loving the Twilight Zone and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. For better or worse both of these things enter into writing his sermons every week.

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