He took my keys and nodded his head toward the customer lounge. Now what to do in the waiting time. Maybe you too are waiting on something in your life. We have all been there. You are not alone, and there is hope for you!
I shuddered as I recall the fact the average person spends 5 years throughout their lifetime waiting. As I’m doing the math of how much time will be taken off my cumulative average, I laugh out loud watching a lady walk by with the t-shirt “Thick thighs, Thin patience.” I continue giggling and wonder flippantly if it is a club I should join. Today, I’m putting some waiting time in .
Waiting for my car to be fixed. Waiting my turn along with seven others engrossed in their phones as if suddenly facebook has something profound to offer. Waiting to be entertained by the grainy tv blasting, As The World Turns. Waiting to feel like I accomplished something, though I just wiggle impatiently. Waiting for the waiting to be fun. Waiting for the waiting to be over.
Waiting Time Isn’t Wasted Time
I have always regarded waiting time as wasted time.
My typical routine of waiting:
- I wait for the answer to be what I want.
- I wait for the amount of time I think appropriate before I get antsy, fussy and demand to be attended to (usually less than 3 minutes.)
- As I sit, my entire body becomes involved in this coming undone process as if instructed to come in on cue by a music conductor. My throat is dry even after 4 cups of free lukewarm coffee floating with cheap creamer. My body fidgets constantly with my crossed legs wagging, unable to settle. My eyes darted, scanning the room at each chair scooch, annoyed by the sound. Attempting to make the guy with the clipboard return for me, I glance at each person who walks by.
- Though I have been dying all week to sit down and read, I open and close a book unable to focus on the words. I hunt down where the incessant beeping is coming from and ask if it can be stopped. With desperation in my brows, this circus of waiting goes on for 98 minutes today. Yes, 98 minutes, I counted.
What are You Waiting For?
Today my trivial waiting is for the non critical repair of a blah blah something emission system leak. This waiting is not heavy or soul wrenching like you may be going through today. Perhaps you are:
- Waiting for a diagnosis.
- Waiting for the chance to prove yourself.
- Waiting for the mending of a relationship.
- Waiting for a prodigal to come home.
- Waiting for healing or heaven.
- Waiting for a miracle of the heart.
I have waited for those things and I will again. But thankfully, today is not that. I question my maturity as I have fidgeted an hour and a half away for nothing. No matter the severity of the cause of the wait, can I learn to be patient and endure differently?
What Does the Bible Say About Waiting on the Lord?
King David in the Bible writes of a better way to wait:
Psalm 130:5-6 writes of another way to use time spent waiting, “ I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope. I wait for the Lord, more than the watchmen wait for morning. More than watchmen wait for the morning.”
I substitute my behavior in the verse, embarrassed and almost forgetting I have choices how to “suffer”/wait .
I Corinna 56:5-6 ( not a real Bible verse thankfully, but how I behave when I don’t dwell on or remember God’s word)
- 5 My whole being goes on high alert, squirming and anxious, unable to settle until my name is called or my outcome is finalized.
- I put my hope and joy in how soon it is my turn, how low my bill is, and how satisfied I am with the outcome.
- 6 I wait for my turn worse than a screaming baby waiting for a bottle. Worse than a screaming baby waiting for a bottle. Wow.
How to Trust God When You are Waiting
David doesn’t wait passively, childlike or by wasting the time… He knows each breath is from God . He goes to scripture to find his peace.
- He has waited with eternity in mind (Ps 136)
- He has rehearsed waiting gratefully (Ps 138). .
- He has waited knowing God knows his details (Ps 139)
- He has waited with his life at stake (Ps 140).
I know all the same words David has written from his heart and I love and trust the same God. These are hopeful words in times of waiting and not.
I want to wait like David, and put my hope in God’s word alone. The Word. Perspective giver. Praise maker. Instruction manual. Peace leaver. Joy composer. Love author. Life originator.
I will keep a Bible in the car for my next opportunity to wait. In fact, looking forward to my next chance at waiting….sort of.
I find myself back in the exact same chair exactly one week later with the exact same car issue. As I dejavu, instead of fussing, I recognize God has given me another chance. I’m the first customer here. I turn the tv to mute and hide the remote behind the coffee maker. I take out my Bible, cross my thick thighs and plan on producing thick patience today as I seek the Lord with my whole heart.