by Simone Campbell, S.S.S.
Why do you let us wander, O God? (Is 63:17)
As we begin this season of Advent, of waiting and preparing, it seems comforting to think of God as the potter, and we, the clay. If we could just relax, and maybe just sit quietly, and stay still long enough, we could be shaped into exactly what God intended. Ready as a sturdy pinch pot to live the awareness of incarnation! But like Isaiah, I wish that knowing God in our midst just took a little silent reflection time. Hearing this lament – “Why do you let us wander, O God?” – I must smile because I know my hunger for God, yet how willful I am to do it MY way.
Why must we wander? Can’t God just tell us all what to do? For better or for worse, even when Jesus walked the earth, this wasn’t the plan, Our God of love won’t come stomping down the heavenly staircase to set straight our wandering. Paul tells us that through God we are “enriched in every way … not lacking in any spiritual gift.” We have started our journey with a guide in our very being. God hums us at every moment. We just need eyes to see and ears to hear. We can’t shy away from decisions we face or the work to be done and simply wait for God to come. God is already here. Through our wanderings, our questions, our encounters with beauty and with pain, the God within us is revealed. Advent is waking up to God in our midst. It is in the wandering that our eyes are open to the deeper truth. So let us not sleep through Advent. Let us wander with our eyes open, ready for adventure.
What surprising gifts have wandering brought to you?
How have you seen God alive in your seeing the pain of our world?