Learning To Embrace The Wait

Waiting isn’t fun. And yet, so much of our lives are spent waiting.

Waiting in lines – at the checkout, to get into a show or a game.

Waiting for food at a restaurant.

Waiting in traffic.

Waiting to board a flight.

Waiting to find out the results of a test.

Waiting to hear back from a friend.

Waiting your turn.

Waiting for your big break.

Waiting to know what to do next.

Waiting for change.

Waiting for justice.

Sometimes we don’t even know what it is we’re waiting for.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

If so much of our lives are spent waiting, we might as well learn to embrace the wait, right?

Fun fact about me… I am freakishly talented at picking the worst line to wait in (at Costco, Walmart, grocery stores, etc.).

I scan the aisles and observe who has the most in their cart and how many people I would be behind. And then I pick one.

And more times than not, it ends up being the line with the person who is price matching every single item or cashier who is feeling particularly sluggish that day.

I look around at all of the spots I marked in my mind and look at where I could have been if only I’d chosen that line. And then I look in front of me at the woman rolling her eyes and checking her phone for the time, and I think, “Oh boy! I don’t want to be like that… just be patient, Christina.”

And when I can catch myself in those moments, I pause. I stop and think about the person who is price matching every item and remind myself that she has a story. She may be struggling to make ends meet or may be working herself out of debt and doing everything she can to be wise financially.

I think about the cashier who has been there for several hours and is watching the snow build up outside and is wondering how she’s going to make it home after her shift. She has a story, too.

I stop and check in with God, thanking Him for my day so far, asking Him for guidance where I may need it.

And then I smile as my turn has finally arrived and ask, “How are you today?” to the person serving me.

You see, there is so much to see, so much to learn, while we’re waiting. Unfortunately, we’re usually too focused on where we’re headed. Our destination can’t come fast enough, so we miss where we are. Right. Now.

When you really think about how many seconds, hours, minutes, days, months, and even years of your life are spent waiting, doesn’t it just make sense to learn to embrace the wait?

What would that look like? To actually embrace waiting?

Don’t wait alone. First of all, you’re not alone, but if you’re anything like me, it’s habitual to try to do things on your own. You seriously don’t have to wait alone. Wait on God. Wait with God.

Be open to what God can teach you through this time. Keep your eyes wide open. Pay attention to the little things.

See the growth. Depending on the season, you may be growing roots or starting to sprout. Either way, life would be so much easier if we could see our growth in timelapse mode. But then we wouldn’t see each millimeter of growth for what it is.

Wait in hope. Whatever you do, don’t lose hope while you wait. Waiting isn’t easy. In fact, it’s usually hard. But there is hope.

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)