Have you ever had to wait for something? For good news or bad news…For the doctor or your turn at the DMV…For test results (medical, academic, or other)…For someone special to show up…For the food to finish cooking…
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to wait. I’m not horrible at it – I just don’t like to.
Waiting can be uncomfortable because it reminds me that I only have so much influence on/in situations, circumstances, and the world around me.
It creates space in my schedule to allows my imagination time to run rampent with possibilities – both worrisome and hopeful. It creates space for reflection, causing me to consider what is happening or what has brought me to this point – and even what will happen next.
Waiting can also build anticipation. There’s a story that Dr. Fred Craddock told in one of his lecture on preaching, about a boy who asked his grandfather to cut an apple for him. Rather than quickly cutting the apple straight through, the grandfather pulls out his pocketknife and slowly begins cutting, while the boy watches juice from the apple start to form drops and fall to the ground and the smell of fresh apple wafts into the air. As the boy hungrily waits for his apple, his anticipation of what the apple will taste like grows. (just writing this out makes me want an apple…)
As I was thinking about Lent yesterday, and I realized that much of the Christian life is centered on waiting…Waiting for the Christ-child to be born. Waiting for Jesus’ death on the cross and (simultaneously) waiting for his ressurrection. Waiting for the Holy Spirit to arrive at Pentacost. Waiting for Jesus to return. Waiting for God to speak or work or bless or answer prayers.
That’s a whole lot of waiting.
Now, I’m not going to get very deep into this. Mostly because it’s too late at night/early in the morning, but also I haven’t had a chance to really think this through long enough to get very deep right now. But it is something to think about.
I know that I tend to seek distractions – to fill my time with my family life or trivial matters or chores or solving the world’s problems – that keep me from thinking about whatever it is that I’m waiting for, or wondering when the waiting will end.
When you are waiting for something (or someone) – does the space of waiting make you uneasy, or are you quite comfortable with it? Does it cause anxiety or anticipation for you? What do you do with that feeling?