I hate waiting. It’s one of those things that I constantly have to relearn how to do graciously. Waiting is especially exhausting when you don’t know how long you’re going to have to wait. This past week especially I’ve been waiting more and more anxiously to hear back about an application I filled out so that I can know what I’m doing this summer. Waiting and checking my email and wondering what I’m going to tell the schedule person at work and checking my email again. So it brought up the question…What should waiting look like?
About the same time I rediscovered a song from the movie Fireproof. It’s called While I’m Waiting, and part of it goes like this:
And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait
That in turn reminded me of a passage that I’ve brought up before. It’s a passage God keeps bringing me back to over and over again, Psalm 37:3-5.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.
What’s the best thing I could be doing while waiting to find out what the next thing I’m doing is? Doing what I already know I’m supposed to be doing. (I know, it’s kind of a duh, but that’s what I’ve been learning, so bear with me.) I don’t think God wants us to twiddle our thumbs whilst waiting for our next instructions. He wants us to look around where we are and see what we can do to make a difference while we wait. Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness until we receive orders to uproot and move to a new land and dwell there.
So what’s it boil down to? Some days, it might just be milking the goats or washing dishes at the appropriate times, or showing up at work with a smile, or reading my brother’s science book to him, or playing piano for the nursing home. The possibilities are really endless. I could be writing blog posts or devotionals or encouraging notes instead of repeatedly checking my e-mail and worrying about my unknown summer schedule. I could be researching and planning alternate activities as well as preparing for the one I’d really rather do, instead of fretting about whether or not I’m going to get to do it. God’s got it under control, and His timing is better than mine anyways, so I need to keep my eyes on what He’s got for me to do do here (and there’s plenty) instead of daydreaming and wondering so much about the future.
So what should waiting look like? I think it shouldn’t look any different than everyday life. It should include the same level of faithfulness that I aim for in my regular life, not less because I’m preoccupied with what I’m waiting for. It should be active.