While I’m waiting
A funny thing happened while I was attempting to write this newest entry to the blog. I’ve been mulling over topics for a few days, not really sure which one to choose, when finally this morning, I decided to write on Waiting. I’ve been in a season of waiting for a while; life was chaotic for a few years, but now, even though it’s quiet by comparison, I’ve been feeling restless for change. I’ve been praying for a couple of things; things that are perfectly within my reason to want and to ask for; but the answer seems to be—Yes, but wait.
So just a little while ago, I proceeded to access the blog in the method that I had done since I got it, to click on the bookmark I have for it in Google Chrome. It took me directly to the blog, except my editing tools weren’t there; I was seeing it as a guest would. I tried everything I knew, which wasn’t much and then I started researching on Google to see if others had also run into this problem. I backtracked in my mind as to what my actions had been the last time I visited the site as administrator. I realized that I had tweaked something last night and wondered if I had messed things up irrevocably. I was feeling a little panicky. Was I going to have to start all over? That felt like a major bummer.
Obviously, since you’re reading this, I was able to get the problem fixed. But the thing is, until I got with the right one (in this case, tech support) who knew how to get me where I needed to be; I was spinning my wheels and making myself anxious about it in the meantime.
One of my favorite Bible teachers likes to ask—If God is telling you to wait, what will your attitude be as you do so? In other words, you’re going to have to wait anyway–will you do it begrudgingly, with complaint and in a bad mood? Will you have a pity party and invite all to come? Or will you do it cheerfully, knowing that this, as with all things, shall pass? Either way, you’re waiting; one mood will make it seem longer and the other, being more enjoyable; will make it seem like a breeze.
When I was a teenager on Staten Island, I didn’t drive, so it was either walking or taking the bus that got me where I wanted to go. A favorite hangout was the mall, which was probably a couple of miles from my house, so me and a friend would take the bus there. If you missed the bus, it was a good twenty minutes before the next one came. If you just missed it, you knew you had that long to wait; worse was not knowing how long it had been since the other one had come. It got boring to wait, even with a friend there, and especially if it was cold or raining. So we would try these little tricks that seemed to work (and did work 50% of the time) to “get” the bus to come. The most popular one was to light a cigarette. You couldn’t smoke on the bus, so you hoped by lighting the cigarette, Murphy’s Law would send the bus right then, making you waste it. I know it sounds silly, but don’t we still do this kind of stuff? Don’t we think we can force God’s hand if we do A, B or C? Abraham and Sarah would have saved us a bunch of trouble if they hadn’t tried to help God by producing Ishmael. But they couldn’t wait.
I like to think I could handle knowing what’s coming, especially the good stuff. But like Abraham, if I knew even part of the promise, I would probably try to help, thereby messing it all up. It’s like how mom might make a beautiful cake, put it on a table and tell the children not to touch it because it was for later. Children being children (and probably we adults would do it too), they would be all in it as soon as she left the room. God gives me a glimpse of something around the corner, and in my enthusiasm, I rush towards it. I get “my fingers in the cake.” Thankfully, God already knows that I am going to do that and I don’t mess anything up to the point of it being permanently damaged; but still, if God has already got the answer worked out, I merely have to sit back and wait for it to come to pass. That’s the only part I have to play in the scenario, so why do I feel this need to help?
Waiting involves patience. Wanting to help God along, involves impatience. We live in a microwave world—wanting everything ten minutes ago. God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He’s not moved by a clock; to Him, a thousand years is but a day. It’s a fact—for some answers, He’s going to make us wait. The question remains: what will we do, how will we act, while we are waiting?