I seem to be doing a lot of waiting lately, and it is something I am not used to doing.
In my ‘former’ busy life, I would be booked back to back with appointments. People would travel across Edmonton, to my neck of the woods to meet me since I was at the big church; they knew my schedule was full, I was busy, so…
Now, I am the one travelling across to connect with my busy buddy.
This whole season is one of waiting. There are moments when I love it. When I sit back, and in a slow moment, I find joy and wonder all around me. Others are as painful as watching paint dry or the dread of watching a snail cross a road.
Right now, I am sitting in Starbucks, with a burnt tongue from rushing a sip of my Skinny Vanilla 1/2 Almond 1/2 Coconut Milk Latte.
After 10 minutes of waiting for a perfectly punctual person, my patiently waiting turns to wondering. Is there a chance I have missed some message, some signal that this is the wrong time or place for this meeting?
Not wanting to be viewed as impatient, I give it a few more minutes, 2 to be exact. Then my fingers feverishly type away. Requesting data from my missing date – did I miss some directions, am I located in the wrong place, or are you running late?
Immediately those familiar three iPhone dots beginning their wiggle…information is on its way…I will have an answer soon. Yep, there was a major miscommunication, a day of the week was specified, but which week was not.
Apologies on both sides are exchanged, and assurances of another appointed time are forth coming…but; this writer is now sitting alone in Starbucks and find myself looking for the lesson.
With my cellphone still in hand, so begins the journaling of this saga, okay that might be too dramatic, but you weren’t the one stood up in Starbucks.
This is reminiscent of my current season. I am in a season of waiting, and it can feel so much like being stood up, like being left out of the communication loop, left out on a limb swaying in the breeze without a safety net. There are so many metaphors you could choke a horse, but what are you to do in the midst of the waiting.
The answer is simple: WAIT
I know it is so simple, but that is what you are supposed to do in the waiting season. Isaiah tells us what happens when we wait on the Lord. Isaiah 40:29-31 (NRSV)
29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
What does the waiting actually look like? That one is a little bit more complicated; I’ve got a two-word answer for that one. THAT DEPENDS.
It can look differently at different times, so let me my use my last few months as an example:
- REST: There have been moments of rest, sitting by the water and just watching the waves roll by—the restorative nurture of nature.
- Family Time: Surrounded by family and friends who can wait with you, who can distract you, who can fill the hours with laughter, be there for the tears, endure the silence, just be in the waiting.
- Projects: What projects can you finish up, get off your plate, so you have a clean slate to start your next, whatever it may be, whenever it may begin. And maybe start a new one, that one you’ve always wanted to start but never had the time for…well now there is time.
- Learn: Read, Listen, Watch – I have read more books, listened to more sermons and podcasts and watched more Ted talks and how to’s in this season than in years. I learned how to paint, build a website, publish a book.
- FEEL: allow yourself to feel those feelings, acknowledge them, process them, let them go, share them with the creator, release them to Him, share them with others – maybe someone can relate
Who knows how long a season lasts? On the good days, I don’t care. On the bad days, I stare at the calendar and count…but every day I talk to the Maker who is with me in the waiting (even in this Starbucks) I know He knows His plan for me, and that is enough – so I wait…