I was reading the Sunday papers yesterday and came across a report of the Pope's homily for the beginning of Advent. It included the following words:
"[T]here are many different ways of waiting. If time is not filled by a present endowed with meaning expectation risks becoming unbearable; if one expects something but at a given moment there is nothing, in other words if the present remains empty, every instant that passes appears extremely long and waiting becomes too heavy a burden because the future remains completely uncertain. On the other hand, when time is endowed with meaning and at every instant we perceive something specific and worthwhile, it is then that the joy of expectation makes the present more precious. Dear brothers and sisters, let us experience intensely the present in which we already receive the gifts of the Lord, let us live it focused on the future, a future charged with hope."
I'm not sure what's going to happen in a couple of weeks' time. I expect to be disappointed, but I still hold out a small hope for a miracle.
But in the meantime, my present isn't and shouldn't be empty, and I shouldn't find this period of waiting so unbearable. I know I have so much to be thankful for - my husband, my family, my home, my friends and so many other things. If I weren't constantly focusing on what I don't have - and may well never have - I would be so much happier.
It's a good reminder. The next couple of weeks will go so much quicker if I can focus on what I have and not on what I'm missing out on.
And this morning I'd better start by catching up on the work I didn't do last week, because otherwise I won't have a job to focus on for much longer...