What are you waiting for? Or, "What are you waiting for?!", spoken loudly to the car in front that isn’t responding to the traffic signal! What is it about waiting that can turn a mild-mannered, reasonably well-balanced human being into a raving maniac? I'm speaking for myself. I might be waiting for a car, a bus, a train, a plane, or a car in front of me. I could be at church waiting for my wife who is now engaged in her fourth in-depth conversation with someone on our way out the door. Whatever I'm waiting for, it seems like I'm engaged in a relentless, ongoing wrestling match with the universe, and waiting seems to be one of the central focal points of my struggle. Waiting means inconvenience. It means not knowing, or not having. It feels like a state of limbo that I can't control. Sometimes there's considerable fear around it or at least considerable frustration. It can feel like endless boredom or excruciating torture, or euphoric anticipation. Just knowing that I will have to "wait" for something or someone even if it's something good, can conjure up a multitude of feelings, good, bad and ugly. How many times have you been frustrated with people who can't seem to change in an area they really need to change in?
How many times have you been frustrated with yourself for the same reason?
How many times have you been frustrated with God because He wasn't taking care of the things on your list? How many times has God been frustrated waiting for you? Oh, that's easy, NEVER!
So often waiting makes me feel isolated and alone, and yet, it's impossible for me to wait by myself because you and I are always accompanied. In truth, we are never alone. So that means if I'm not waiting by myself, then God must be waiting with me. The problem with my perspective on waiting is that usually when I'm waiting, I have the feeling that nothing is getting done. Oh, I may scroll my phone or read a magazine, but that's just to pass the time. The big things, the things I want to take care of, aren't going to happen until I'm finally finished waiting here. But what if that's completely wrong? What if it's not about what you're doing when you're waiting, but all about your posture in that place. Better yet, what if waiting in the right posture, a posture of expectation, actually gets way more done than all my running around. What if waiting isn't what I think it is at all but something else entirely, something completely unexpected. I'm constantly faced with situations where I have to wait. Could waiting be a daily invitation to step out of this temporal realm through that thin, thin veil and into the reality of God, what I call "The Real, Real"?
What if being patient with myself and God and others is one of the best gifts I could ever give or receive? What if waiting for others is a fundamental way to love them even from a distance and the one thing I can continually give to others and freely receive myself?
What if my waiting actually gives God the opportunity to really get some things done?What if the one thing that God has been waiting on more than anything, is for me to finally stop my shenanigans and simply wait on him? I think it's a double bind that a lot of us find ourselves in: we think we're waiting on God, but He's actually waiting on us, Waiting for us to wait...on him.
Waiting is the gift that God gives to you, and then, only after you have truly received it, it's the gift you give back to him and to everyone around you.
A Couple Questions:
Today, where and how have you been waiting in your life?
What have you been waiting for that has seemed inaccessible? What have you been longing for that has seemed out of reach?
At the same time how have others been waiting for you or waiting on you? Can you accept this as an expression of their love for you?
Where have you refused to wait, running ahead to your own detriment?
How have you chosen to wait on others as an expression of love for them?
How can you embrace waiting in a whole new way? What would that look like?
What’s the difference for you between waiting well and not being willing to wait at all?
Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."