I am a life-long Chicagoan who hates winter and cold weather. “How do you deal with the cold?” This is the question that I’m often asked when traveling in regions that have considerably milder winters compared to Chicago.
Generally, I define winters in Chicago to mean unpredictable travel times due to traffic jams if driving or flight cancellations if on a plane. I have had to leave home two hours earlier than usual when there was snow just to make it to work on time. But through the years I’ve learned to not get frustrated over the things that I cannot change, like the weather. My getting upset does not shorten the wait time.
Despite Christmas being in the winter, every year I look forward to it. It is my favorite holiday. There is something magical about Christmastime in Chicago. Like the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Christmas carols come alive when you look out the window and see a fresh snow fall amidst the colorful lights and Christmas decorations.
I believe Christmastime is so special because it is a season of expectation; it brings out the kid in all of us. The young and the young-at-heart alike wait with anticipation for that perfect gift from Santa, the traditional family dinner or gathering or the annual Christmas programs at school or church. Both young and old can relate to the expectation of Christmas and all it has to offer.
Like the saints of old who awaited the blessed birth of Jesus Christ—God’s gift to the world—we now await his imminent return.
There is however, a blessing in the waiting. The Bible teaches us in Isaiah 40:31 that they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as an eagle. They shall run and not grow weary. They shall walk and not grow faint.
What are you waiting for?
P.S. View our Advent resources to get ideas on how to celebrate this season of waiting.
Deborah Powell is the ever patient associate executive director of Women of the ELCA.