Friday, March 18, 2011

Waiting Rooms

What is it about a waiting room that brings out the impatience in us? Or am I alone in my propensity to become irritated at the thought of having to wait? When I walk into a doctor’s office at my appointment time, is it unrealistic to expect to see her promptly? What about the checkout lines at the grocery store? I seem to pick the shortest, only to find it has the slowest clerk or the person with multiple orders or who wants to chat it up with the clerk. You’ve probably figured it out…I simply do no like to wait. Anywhere. Any time. But the reality is as soon as I leave the doctor’s office, if I stop at the bank or grocery I am, more than likely, going to have to wait again. There’s just no getting around most of the waiting rooms of our lives.

That same impatience with waiting carries over into the rest of my life. When I think about it, I realize a lot of my life has been spent in longing for something else, creating the illusion that I am ‘waiting’. A better house, a better job, a new car…with each change a temporary sense of satisfaction quickly replaced by a new longing. A new waiting room.

As my faith has grown, I have found those longings have diminished but the waiting rooms have not gone away. They simply revolve around other issues.

In her book Walking by Faith-Lessons Learned in the Dark, Jennifer Rothschild stated, “If we focus on the prize alone we’ll see the waiting as a trial, missing the joy of the journey and overlooking the treasures along the way.”

I fear I have overlooked far too many treasures. Looking back I can see some of them. However, I know I didn’t fully enjoy them at the time. How many more did I miss altogether?

It would be easy to look back with regret and focus on past failures. God reminds me in the words of Paul that I must ‘forget what is behind and strain forward to what is ahead. I must press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 3:14

In my waiting rooms today and tomorrow, instead of simply praying for a quick way out I will seek to be still and get connected to God. Then, in anticipation, look for treasures along the way.

Like Paul,
My desire is God’s desire.
My prize is Christ’s will for me.
My hope is in God alone.

May you also find joy in the journey!


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