Saturday, November 3, 2018

WAIT is Not a Four-Letter Word

The ability to wait is not prevalent in our skill-set of today. We have been conditioned to always be doing something—keeping busy.

If we are forced to wait—doctor’s office, check-out line, traffic, etc.—we will most likely pick up something to “do.” Grab the phone and scan the latest Facebook “likes” from the past five minutes since we last checked. Post our irritation on Facebook. Go to our planner, which is most likely digital now, to see if there is something I forgot.

Heaven forbid that we should just be rendered immobile, left alone with nothing to distract our wandering minds. Perish the thought! Goodness gracious! I might have to actually engage with the person next to me!!

Hmmm. What would that look like? People actually talking with one another. Scary thought, I know; but one we should carefully consider as the art of conversation is being swept away in the flood of technological isolation.

We are becoming isolated from one another more and more. Cartoons and advertisements abound with two people sitting next to each other texting.

Texting whom? A “virtual” friend? Someone who is not truly in your life like the one with whom you are sharing space?

Some have even suggested that the two are texting each other!!

I digress.

Waiting is the subject with which I want to engage your mind for just a moment.

Waiting. Not doing something. Not doing anything except waiting.

That goes against the lie we have bought into about “multi-tasking” to get things done. We can be so much more productive than we are, we have been told. There is always something you can do.

Let that thought stick with you for just a moment.

Yes. There is always something you can do.

In fact, there will always be something to do.

Guess what?

The things to do will still be here needing doing when you are no longer here to do them. If you don’t take the time to do some of the more important things, you won’t be here long enough to get them all done.

Truth is, you won’t be here long enough to get it all done.

God established a requirement for His people that they take one day out of the week to do nothing. They had to wait for one full day before re-engaging in the business of this life.

Without arguing about which day that is supposed to be, the question remains—do you ever take a day off to do NOTHING?

Most are probably nodding their heads in agreement, but I don’t think we understand the gravity of what is being asked.

If you cannot sit still without doing something for even five minutes, I doubt that you could spend an entire day in such an apparently fruitless pursuit.

So, let’s talk about those few-minute intervals we are given each day.

When in the checkout line at the store, rather than scan the headlines of the “rag-mags,” why not begin to scan the faces of the people around you?
  • Can you see the woman who is worried about whether she put more in her cart than she can afford? 
  • Can you see the man who is wishing his wife was with him instead of in the cancer ward? 
  • Can you see the child who is just wishing that someone would notice they are alive? 
  • Can you see the cashier to whom no one has smiled or said, “Thank you” since they began their shift?

When stuck in traffic, rather than reach for the phone, why not begin to look around at the other drivers.
  • Can you see the one who was trying to get home from the funeral of their friend? 
  • Can you see the one who has no idea they have a child with them? 
  • Can you see the one who is glad for the delay so that they don’t have to go home to a loveless house? 
  • Can you see all the people who are not aware that there are other people in the exact same situation?

When in the doctor’s office, rather than be distracted by a magazine you never read, why not begin to pray for those in the room with you? Most of them are not there to be told how great their life is.

Since you have read this far, I can promise you that you will find yourself forced into situations of waiting.

You will be given many opportunities this week to use the intervals of “interruption” in your life differently.

Will you commit yourself to try to handle them differently?

Will you commit to seeing waiting as an opportunity instead of a frustration?

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