I don’t like to wait. I never have and I probably never will!
However, Advent has always been a special time for me. Maybe it was the way my parents approached that time that made waiting bearable and even exciting. We had a lot of family traditions celebrating Advent including the traditional Advent wreath, Advent calendars, and Advent resolutions.
When I was very young, my dad made me a little wooden crib out of some scrap lumber. The crib was for baby Jesus and my job was to get it ready for his arrival. Every day that I fulfilled my Advent resolution I got to put a cotton ball into that crib. If I didn’t have a good day, I had to put a wooden toothpick in the crib. I wanted to have a lot of cotton for the little baby to lie on so I did my best to keep my resolution.
Not only did this simple practice help me to adopt some positive behaviors, it also helped me to wait patiently for the Babe of Bethlehem. I surely didn’t want that baby to arrive until the crib was ready!
I still have that little crib. Although I have replaced the cotton balls with straw, I still try to keep my Advent resolutions … and wait patiently for the coming of the newborn King.
S. Mary Beth Gianoli, OSF
Leadership Councilor, Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg