Saturday, March 04, 2006

Learning to Wait

A woman had an appointment scheduled with the family doctor at 1:00 PM. Finally, at 2:15 the nurse caller her in. "The doctor is ready to see you, but first we must get your weight. Exasperated, the woman replied, "One hour and fifteen minutes!"

This story while humorous points out that none of us like to wait. We groan at traffic lights when it seems to take too long. We scheme at the grocery store to find the shortest line. We sit in uneasy silence in waiting rooms and elevators hoping that it will all be over soon and we will be able to get back to our business. We'll even click away from a website that takes more than a few seconds to load. Why? Why do we hate waiting so much?

While there are many possible reasons, usually it is because we feel a loss of control. When we are driving down a road and we see the guard rails for a train go down we know it means no matter what we do, our life is on hold until every last boxcar passes before us. So we sit, anxiously waiting for life to begin again where we are once again in control of our time.

Our society does not encourage waiting. Advertisements for 30 minutes or less guaranteed, faxes, fast food, and Fed. Ex. all remind us that waiting is not a good thing. We are becoming a very impatient people. Impatience is born out of selfishness which leads to frustration and anger. Our society is reaping this fruit. People seem too busy to even smile. And despite all the gadgets that are supposed to save us time and make things easier, our lives seem more complex than ever before. People seem too busy or too tired to care for others. The tyranny of the urgent takes precedent in our lives.

Our God takes a much different perspective. He encourages waiting. it was after many years that Sarah was blessed with Isaac. Noah was forced to wait many days before he saw land. And others like Jonah, were forced to wait to help change their attitude towards God and others. For whatever reason God often desires his people to wait.

Isaiah wrote in chapter 5, "they that wait upon th Lord shall renew their strength.

Solomon stated in Provers 14:19, "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul."

David throughout the Psalms talked about training his soul to be still and wait. "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits." (Pslam 130:5)

Isaiah, Solomon, and David all knew that to be close to the Lord required them to wait for Him.

Our lives are busy. We all have expectations and goals set for what we would like to accomplish. I am by nature not a person that likes to sit still and wait. But it is my hope that the discipline of waiting and the joy of being still before the Lord becomes an increasing part of my routine and life.

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