Anyone who’s ever travelled with children, knows how challenging that can be, especially over long distances. If you’ve watched and enjoyed Shrek 2 you’ll remember you’ll remember how Donkey produces that exquisite pain brought about by the familiar refrain, “Are we there yet?”
Even as adults, we’re not really that different from Donkey, are we?
Starting something new often brings with it a good degree of energy and enthusiasm. Be it a project, a relationship, a journey, or a dream; whatever it is, we have hopeful expectations of something good, great even. But somewhere along the way, if our expectations aren’t met, if things seem to be taking a lot longer than we anticipated, our attitude starts to change. We start asking the questions that seem to have no satisfactory answer.
Why is it taking so long? Why am I still waiting? Why is God holding out on me? How much longer? When?
We hate waiting. We hate waiting, especially in this age of technology, credit, fast food and instant gratification.
Nevertheless, waiting is a fact that none of us can avoid entirely. Recently the official teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie was released on YouTube. Already it has been viewed over 38 million times. And all those millions of fans will have to wait until December 2015 when the movie is released. That’s a year of waiting.
Birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas are also events which require waiting (although perhaps not always with the same level of anticipation and excitement as one might for a wedding day, the birth of a baby, or the release of the third instalment of The Hobbit.)
At least with these events we know when they are coming. We have a date to look forward to. Years ago, a friend had a daily countdown to her wedding day. It was a one year engagement, and on any given day she could tell you how many sleeps were left before the wedding. My friend was anticipating the day she would walk down the aisle and say “I do.”
But what about those things we long for, where there is no date? When we have no idea how long the wait will be? That kind of waiting is hard, no question.
And in the midst of all this unwelcome waiting is the opportunity to wait on God. A “seek His face” kind of waiting. A listening kind of waiting. A worshipping kind of waiting. Waiting on God, and not just for God, takes us into a whole new place in our relationship with him.
This is the beginning of a new series: “Waiting on God.” (My thanks to Alicia for the idea.) I hope you’ll join me for what I think will be a really interesting and challenging subject to explore. May we experience the wisdom and blessing of the Lord as we learn how to wait.