I was out of worship with y’all on Sunday because I was driving back from Saint Louis. My friend Jerry Patterson was celebrating his eightieth birthday, and my godmother and I agreed that surprising him with my presence was a good idea. Jerry waited a long time to turn eighty, I waited a long time to get through Oklahoma.
Seriously. I drove twenty hours in sixty. And like four hundred hours of it was in Oklahoma, on Route 69. Maybe you’ve driven it—where you get your car up to the speed limit, drive two minutes (maybe passing someone going really slow in the left lane) and then kill cruise control to roll through yet another town. On the way up, I was looking for Big Cabin; on the way back, I was looking for Denison. On both drives, I was looking for patience.
But, of course, patience is not grown, it is thrown. I truly believe this. We can cultivate patience, and seek it, but it is one hundred percent a gift of the Holy Spirit. This Sunday, we’ll be lighting a candle for it and for peace, as Advent is not just about the baby Jesus in the manger, but the second coming of Christ and the full glory of the Reign of God. It’ll be something else; I look forward to seeing you then.