Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Weight of Waiting

I know that naturally I am not a very patient person. I do not wait well.
I am reminded of this often. Even when I can convince my body to stop fidgeting and running around in circles, it's much more difficult to stop my mind.
I have intentionally set out to explore and confront whatever my discomfort with waiting is and to grow into patience.

I'm beginning to realize that I have understood waiting largely to be a waste of time, a gap that could be closed if other people were more efficient. Maybe this sounds harsh, but it is honest.

I think we all typically see waiting as a time between two events. Expectant for the next thing to happen. Closing one chapter and opening another.
But what if we looked at waiting in another way?
What if we believed waiting to be an event in and of itself? Or, maybe not an event, but a time that is full of meaning and possibility?
What if we lived into the belief that waiting is worth our time and energy and investment?

We are so busy. We move quickly from one thing to the next.
We forget to take in the time and space in-between our projects, appointments, tasks and schedules that rule our lives.

In my rush to make the next something happen, I miss something deeper, more meaningful along the way.

Waiting teaches me it's not about doing at all.

We simply need to be in the waiting, to situate ourselves wholly and fully into the in-between. 

What does that look like?

"I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in God's word I hope." (Psalm 130:5)

Most often, when I find myself in a time of waiting, my whole being is not truly waiting or resting. My mind hardly ever takes a break. My spirit may be anticipating the next thing to happen--a phone call, a word from a potential employer. I like to busy myself with distractions in the meantime.

My whole being is not waiting on, resting in God.
My hope is not placed on God's word. I forget to listen for it, for that still, small voice that beckons to me.
My hope is placed in the future, the next best thing, the plans I have formulated in my mind.

But instead of making the next thing my focus and spending energy on something that has not yet come to fruition (and may never), what would it mean for my whole being to wait for the Lord?

What might I learn if I became still--in my body, in my mind, in my heart--and waited on God?

If I changed the focus of my waiting away from the outside world, my future endeavors, and toward the God who is at home and at work in my soul?

I am in a time of waiting now. I will begin a training course in spiritual direction in two weeks' time.
I am in the midst of a job search, setting up interviews and expecting call-backs.

Can I, during this season of personal and professional waiting, offer to God not only my time but my whole being?
Can I place my hope in the word of God, in the voice of God?
Can I allow myself to be still and present to God's presence?
What new word might God reveal to me, to you in this practice of growing patience and waiting?

God, help me to find rest for my whole being--body, mind, and spirit--in You.
Teach me to watch and pray as I wait on You.

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