I am writing from the second floor waiting room at Bobby and Steve’s auto world. I stopped in to get the oil changed in my van. When I left the counter the gentleman mentioned that I can help my self to fountain drinks or coffee. He then explained how I could connect to the free wi-fi and that he would call me on the PA when my wait is over. He said I should feel free to go upstairs. Filled with leather couches, the waiting room also boasts a gas fireplace, a pinball machine, tables and chairs, a patio deck, and even a sofa made from the backed of a classic car. That’s where I’m sitting. All of this designed to help me wait.
Waiting is a lost art. We live in such an instant world that we don’t even know how to wait. We even design rooms to help us forget that we are waiting. Don’t believe me? Lets look at a few other examples. We have gone way past the telephone to “instant messaging” which now is nonstop messaging. We can’t wait for the nightly news, we need it 24 hours a day. We even have Taco Bell Express, after all the wait at Taco Bell is some time too long!
We don’t wait for a chance to get the to record store to get new music. We hear it on the radio, push a button, buy it and download it to our personal data universe. The online retailer Amazon that began as an online book story with crazy fast mail delivery, now carries anything you might need, and lots that you don’t. Now when a friend starts telling us about a great book they read, we can have it delivered to our e-reader before they finish telling us why they like it.
Overnight film developing and printing reduced to 1 hour photo, no wait that reduced to instant print kiosks at the local grocery store, no wait that reduced to taking the photo with our phone posting it to Facebook automatically and sending it to our photo printer at home so the photo will be waiting for us when we get home.
Parents today struggle to teach their children how to wait, for a desired toy, or computer game because as parents we do not know how to wait. This is a danger that leads not only to materialism but also to great Spiritual distress. The journey of faith is not an instant walk. It is a journey filled with waiting, learning, stumbling, rising, waiting again, and joy in the journey.
This inability to wait is causing issues in the lives of many Christians adults today. We are not willing to wait, we want God to answer our prayer right now. We want the pain, and the struggle to end by morning. But to a God who origins are from eternity his view of time is very different from ours. God who is able to create in a moment, and heal in an instant, also knows that it is often through the waiting that we grow. The account of God’s people is filled with waiting, Abraham for a child, Noah for dry ground, Job for understanding, and all the children of Israel for their Messiah.
Today so many have begun to see the waiting as God’s inability, or lack of desire to help. In their impatience they question God, they take matters into their own hands. This leads to their folly and diminishes our witness of God’s faithfulness to our world.
The psalmist understand the wait, and the blessing to follow:
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7
I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
I have experience the joy of holy waiting. The blessing to see that the waiting was not in vain, but for my good. Next time you need to “wait” thank God for the chance to slow down, and remind yourself of the blessing of holy waiting.
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
See you in the waiting room!