Waiting: not my favorite. Pretty much everything about that word gives causes me to feel anxious and agitated. Now that I am writing about it, I am becoming even more aware of how much I hate to wait. And if I do have to wait, I try combat the monotony of it by doing something productive. Having a phone helps (or contributes to my problem) because I can answer calls or send emails while I am waiting. I have actually almost missed a flight because I avoided getting in line to board the plane until the last possible second so I wouldn’t have to wait in the long, smelly corridor one more minute than necessary. Apparently flight attendants are not very sympathetic about my aversion to waiting lines.
Today is January 7th; only one short week from the biggest goal-setting day of the year. At a time when most people are fired up and ready to make it their “best year ever!”, I still feel like I am in limbo. I feel like I am waiting on something whose outline has not been revealed. The who, what, where, when and why are hazy and seem excruciatingly far off.
My tendency during a phase like this is to become aimless, discouraged, immobilized, or worse yet, prone to taking some random action just to feel like I am at least doing something.
My timing and God’s timing are very different. My timing is typically “now”. I feel ready to grab the bull by the horns, saddle up, and get going already!
But, as it usually works, God brought me a “word” through 2 of my daily readings yesterday. Both of them spoke to me about this nonsense of waiting. First, Oswald Chambers put it to me softly: “When God brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait.” I most definitely want to “get after it” if we are gonna do it at all. And if His guidance is not clear, I can easily just make it up as I go along, forcing solutions, fabricating a spiritual sounding yet selfish game plan and asking God to please bless it as I plow ahead.
Maybe I am wiser, or just older and more tired of doing it the hard way, but I think I am going to try something different this time. Instead of viewing this interim time as “waiting”, I think I will try consider it more like “lingering”. We linger over things we love or don’t want to end. We linger long after a party ends or over a romantic dinner or at the end of a memorial service where everyone is sharing beautiful memories of our loved one.
Maybe in the lingering, if I am willing, I can learn a couple things that will prepare me for the next phase. Maybe I can linger, rest, relish, recover and let God do His thing in me.
There is such a fine line between having the sense of being “stuck” and valuing this period of lingering. Sarah Young, author of “Jesus Calling”, uses scripture to point out that God tells us, “time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark.” I will do my best to trust Him in that blank space and resist the urge to fill it in myself.
God, help me trust that my time of waiting is a gift. A time to linger with you and learn until your perfectly timed “next thing” is revealed. Amen.