I hate waiting.
Well, that’s not exactly true….
I don’t mind waiting if I’m prepared for the wait. I go to the airport – I take a book. I accompany my husband to an out of town meeting – I enjoy finding things to do. I take my Mom to a doctor’s appointment – I sit contentedly with a magazine until her appointment is finished. It’s not really the waiting that bothers me. So…just what is it then?
I’ve been waiting for my phone to ring all day. I’ve been expecting two important calls that, by now I know will not come today. Since about 8:00 this morning I think I’ve checked the phone’s vibrate button at least 20 times just to make sure it didn’t get switched by accident. That phone hasn’t left my person for a solid 11 hours now, and still, nothing. I’ve had other calls….texts….but not THE calls.
My friend, Maria is convinced that it’s when we’re “all stirred up” inside that God has direct access to our hearts and minds. If she’s right, there must be something for me to learn today! I don’t really feel like doing “inner work” tonight, but I’ve committed to stay as focused as I can on God’s presence in every situation in my life for these 40 days of Lent. I can’t just “busy” this away with distractions, as I would normally do. So, I sit here, once again praying for insight to what God might be trying to say to me in this “stirred up” moment. This is what comes to heart:
The times I hate waiting are the times when I don’t have (gulp) control. There —- I said it! I think of other hard times of waiting:
Waiting for lab results…
Waiting for a soldier to get safely home…
Waiting for news from the bank…
And so many others. It’s incredibly hard to wait in these times! Our stomachs are twisted, our pulse quickens, our hearts are anxious and we pace the floor……waiting.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) reminds me that, while I can’t control when or even whether my waiting will end soon, I CAN control how I direct my thoughts:
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
So, in the waiting times, I don’t actually relinquish control at all….I just realize what it is that I CAN control and what I cannot. Today I couldn’t will my phone to ring. And tomorrow I won’t be able to either. But….and this is a glorious but….I can, and I do choose to trust the one who holds my life and all things related in loving hands. I don’t pretend that it’s easy. But it is my choice this night.
I choose to trust God. And that feels really good.