Waiting often seems to be a waste of our time. Whether it is standing behind a line of people at the checkout lane, being stuck in traffic or anticipating test results, waiting is not a very appealing activity, and certainly not productive.
There's a story about a group of Jewish students who were diligently preparing to become rabbis. Day after day they read and studied the Scriptures, pored over various interpretations of the law and prayed regularly together and on their own. One day their teacher told them, "Full experiences of God can never be planned or achieved. They are spontaneous moments of grace, almost accidental." His students couldn't believe what they were hearing. One of the students asked, "Rabbi, if experiencing God is just accidental, why do we work so hard doing all these spiritual practices?" The Rabbi replied, "So that we may be as accident-prone as possible."
Through worship and prayer that accompany the season of Advent, we are making ourselves as accident-prone as possible to the coming of God in our midst.