Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wait for it... Wait for it...

Dear Rufus has gotten better about waiting. When he was a young pup, therewasnowaitingforanything! But now that he's -- wow! -- almost three years old, he can wait a while, if he has to, without going berserk. He has finally graduated to being left to roam the house with Blackie when the family is away for a few hours. Yeah! No more kennel!

I know some people who are used to waiting. I know a lot more folks who don't have to wait hardly at all. I tried to make myself wait a couple of weeks ago. It didn't go well. My work schedule was a little confusing and I showed up an hour early. Good opportunity, thought I, to go practice the fine art of waiting. No reading, no radio, just sitting until I was supposed to show up at the library.

I failed. First, a quick stop at the store for some orange juice. While there, I received text messages from two sons, both needing replies. Oh, and I could really use a snack for lunch, since I'll be working later than I'd planned. And maybe a little something for now, too. Back in the car, with my morning snack and juice and messages to write, I turned on the radio. You know, only for a minute, while eating. Then there were a few lines of an article in the Braille magazine that I hadn't had time to finish (my plan is to read bits of it while waiting for my sons after school.) Uh, oh, now it's down to twenty minutes before I have to be back at work, and I have wandered into a strange neighborhood a couple of miles from the library. Time to pack up and go!

The people I know who are used to waiting know that they have to wait. They aren't just sitting around, not at all. They have places to go and things to do, but the bus only comes at scheduled times. If you want to ride that bus, you must be there early. Not down the street, not on your way, but at the bus stop. There are things they can do while waiting, but the first thing is to get there, be there, waiting. Anything else is icing on the cake.

There's a familiar passage about purposeful waiting, and it comes with a promise:

Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Okay, mounting and running and walking don't sound like "waiting" to me. But the verse starts out emphasizing that those who are waiting for the Lord will be blessed with stamina and endurance. This waiting is not simply standing around, it's like planting yourself at the bus stop. It's not a maybe thing, it's knowing there's something in His mind to do. It's planting yourself right in the middle of His will, being careful to know His ways so that you may be assured of being in the right spot. He is coming; He will do what He says He'll do. Wait here and be encouraged, and while you're waiting you can also do some running and walking and other good things. Just remember for Whom you are waiting, and keep Him at the forefront of all your thoughts.

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