i have a confession to make. i’m not very patient. i hate waiting for things. maybe its cos i’m male but waiting just doesn’t seem to be in my nature, though I’m trying to work on that a bit!

anyway, there was this time a few years when my beloved Northern Ireland hadn’t scored a goal in almost 3 years. it was torture. leaving every game for 2 and a half years with the words “Northern Ireland nil” firmly lodged in your head. we actually broke the world record for the longest time never to score a goal. we still hold that record today!

i suppose that’s why the concept of advent has always been strange to me. waiting on God to arrive. it’s so foreign to me.

but recently I’ve been coming to appreciate the beauty of waiting. the joy of something or someone coming after hours, days, weeks, years of waiting for it. After a period of waiting, appreciation levels tend to have increased and excitement is greater.

i suppose that was true after not seeing northern ireland score for 3 years. before every game we optimistically whispered longings of “maybe this is the night we’ll get a goal.” we didn’t want to win. we didn’t care if we conceded 10. just as long as we scored.

and so the year is 2004 and we’ve just beaten the world record and are 3-0 down against norway. times are hard. and up pops sir david to put the ball in the back of the net and the crowds goes ballistic. finally we’ve scored. finally we’ve seen a goal. and for those who kept following the team in those dreadful 3 years, the good times now seem even sweeter. we now appreciate the small things more. we’re thankful for even a goal.

and after 400 years of God being completely silent, He finally speaks. He finally comes close. He finally draws near. He finally fulfils the prophecies. He shouts, the waiting is finally over. I Am is here.