Waiting with Attitude

Waiting on God

The other day I waited in a queue to make a purchase. When it was my turn at the counter the sales register computer stopped working. I waited while the sales assistant tried to fix the problem. I waited while she called the manager over. I waited while the manager tried to fix it. I waited while they called for IT support. And when they sent me to another sales point I waited while the sales assistant finished answering a customer query.

I don’t know exactly how long I waited, but it was long enough for the manager to give me a 20% discount off my purchase. It was an unexpected reward for waiting patiently.

I’d like to say that I’m always that patient, but of course I’m not. I can get frustrated, irritable and angry, especially when I have an expectation that things should be faster. Sometimes my attitude leaves a lot to be desired.

“Are we there yet?” is a question that also reveals a certain attitude towards waiting. In fact it’s really more of a complaint than a question. It’s taking too long. We’re tired of waiting. We want to get onto the good stuff. We think waiting is pointless and boring. We just want the waiting to be over. We want what we want and we want it NOW. Like the petulant grandson in The Princess Bride, when asked to wait we want to know, “Well, when does it get good?”

Having a good attitude can make all the difference when it comes to waiting, especially in those situations when we have no idea how long the wait will be.

“Are we there yet?” – Waiting on God

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.

Waiting on God

Photo Credit: alexcoitus via Compfight cc (title text added)

Waiting with Attitude

31 Days: When Listening means Waiting

By the Lake

Waiting can seem like the hardest thing.

Sometimes it seems that there is only silence when I listen. That I am alone with my own thoughts and nothing else.

Where are you Lord? Why are you silent? How long must I wait for you to acknowledge me, to whisper in my heart?

But Lord, I also know the fickleness of my own heart. I know how quickly I would rush on if you never made me wait. You create space for us in the waiting. How else will I learn to quiet myself, to be still in your presence, to listen, to love you, if you do not make me wait?

If your speaking must always be on my terms, in my time, if I am unwilling to wait, then I am not really loving you.

There is something in the waiting, in the listening, that speaks love.

Love is patient. As you wait for me, so I wait for you.

It’s hard, there’s no denying. But there’s also hope. You love me and I am not forgotten.

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

31 Days to ListenThis is Day 8 of the series 31 Days to Listen.

When Waiting Becomes Watching

I waited. I thought I might be late, but I waited.

Waited in a line for the bus that would take me to work.

And as I waited I noticed the clouds. Long rows of white woolliness tracking slowly across the soft blue expanse.

I saw their shape and watched them move, gently carried.

As the bus pulled up I realised that these moments had been transformed from waiting to watching wonder.

And my soul was at rest.

Woolly Wonder

Image sourced here.