Reflections - Jan 26, 2017

Waiting

Eleanor Deckert
Wait for the toast to pop. Wait for the green light. Wait for pay day. Wait for that important phone call. Wait for Christmas. Wait for the bride to come down the aisle. Wait for supper.

We all wait. For small things. For once-in-a-lifetime things. For good news. For test results. At the airport. In the hospital. For the guest of honour to arrive. Chess players wait for their opponent's move.
The three bears waited for their porridge to cool. The three pigs waited for the wolf to come again. The troll waited under the bridge for the three billy-goats.
I'll tell you why I am thinking about waiting, and observing myself while I wait. I am waiting for a shipment. Yes, my second book is in print. I started writing last January. Got a pretty good manuscript together by June. Cut, re-arrange, trim, add, check, polish. After submitting it in August, the revision rounds took time. I did my part zippety-fast. But, then I had to wait for the design team to do their part of the work. In mid-December my manuscript went to press. The shipment left the loading dock two weeks ago. But, Canada is a big place. Winter has an impact on the highways. Transfers and schedules take time.
I realize: When I'm waiting, I'm always waiting for 'The Other Guy.' There is a sour impatience, which threatens to poison my relationship with the person who is making me wait too long.
Most waiting is predictable. If I know the estimated time of arrival, then I relax. I have little anxiety.
I notice how often I look at the clock or calendar. How many times I count: hours, miles, money, gather facts, make estimates. I want to know! But, many times when I wait, I can't know. That's when the anxiety starts to fester. It's harder and harder for me to control the invasion of worry. 'What if' is like a plague of stinging insects swarming into my mind again and again.
I wonder why I find waiting so hard?
“Daddy! Daddy! Wait for me!” Even saying those words makes my heart tight with the fear of abandonment.
Now I notice a new idea. The antidote for waiting with anxiety is: waiting with trust.
Do I trust 'The Other Guy'? The doctor, the delivery truck driver, the repair man, the receptionist, my friend or family member, the cashier, my employer or employee?
Today, I decided to look in my concordance to see if there were any applicable Bible verses about waiting. After all: pretty much every Bible character had to wait for something! Noah waited for the rain to stop. Abraham waited until he was over 100 years old to have his first child. Joseph waited seven years in the Egyptian jail. Moses led the people out of slavery after they had waited for 400 years. Since that dark day in The Garden, mankind has been waiting for the Messiah. Now Christians wait for the Second Coming.
For Bible believers, 'God keeps His promises' is a pretty strong theme throughout the centuries.
This is what I discovered in the concordance. There are no fewer than 32 Hebrew and Greek words used in the ancient texts which have all been translated as 'wait.' But, wait, there's more! If we eliminate 'lying in wait' (like a cat ready to pounce) and words that have to do with being of service (as in waiting tables), and some words that merely mean to remain or sit or stand still, there is still a remarkable list of words the meaning of which is lost by translating them into one English word. Let me show you.
'To wait earnestly,' and 'to wait with hope,' and 'to wait, expect, look for, hope,' or how about this one, 'to wait or long for, to expect earnestly.' How about 'to look toward,' and 'to persevere.' Some of the words include the sense of waiting in silence.
Now I'm in trouble. I don't see 'wait and whine' or 'wait and worry' or even 'complain and continue annoying everyone around you while you wait' as any of the meanings!
It seems to me that my sense of 'trust' needs a little strengthening. Maybe that's why I am so sensitive to waiting. Maybe I have been given more opportunities to allow 'hope' and 'perseverance' to become more prevalent in my heart, soul and mind while my body 'waits.'
Psalm 27: 14 “Wait on the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage, yes, wait on the Lord.”