I am a terrible Waiter. In college I attempted to wait tables as a job. Disasterous. I would either bug my table to death or forget about them entirely. By the end of the night I always seemed to owe money rather than make money. It was really not a good fit for my “giftedness.”
I am still a terrible “Waiter.” I hate waiting. It feels so unproductive and, well, lazy. The old adage, “don’t just sit there. Do something!” has been wisely challenged in my recovery brain: “Don’t just DO something. Sit there!.. “. Sometimes activity makes me feel like I have some say. Some control. We wait for many things: we wait for test results, for healing, for recovery, for a family, for the right person to come along, for the wrong person to leave, for people to change, for us to change, for someone to get sober, for the time we will see our loved ones who died and left us here. I wait for my next hospital stay, for my hair to grow back, to start selling houses again, to exercise like a normal person, for the news about whether I need more chemo or a transplant. I wait to get sick, I wait to recover, to see if I can go in public or have to stay home or need to get a blood transfusion. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Eddie Lowen, tha pastor at Westside talked about this Sunday. I like his honest re-interpretation of Psalm 40:1…”I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. ” He said that for him it would say something more like, “I waited IMPATIENTLY for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my WHINING.” That sounds about right for me too. I often plead, “How long, oh Lord? How long must I wait for….?”
As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I had this thought regarding waiting: There’s a big difference between waiting FOR and waiting ON. It occurred to me that waiting ON is what you do while you are waiting FOR. Waiting ON is about serving others. Waiting FOR is about ME getting what I want when I want it. Waiting ON is a wonderful way to get outside our own plans, desires and wishes and focus on GOD’s plans, desires and wishes. Waiting ON means that even though I have Leukemia, I can still send a note to a friend who is struggling, visit someone in the hospital, or set up coffee with someone who I know is hurting. This makes the waiting FOR time a sweet time. A “get to” rather than a “have to”. I think I might have more to say on waiting but for now, I need to get dressed to head to my bone marrow biopsy. I only GET TO wait 45 more minutes. 🙂