What are you waiting on? No, seriously?
But perhaps a better question is: How are you waiting?
This weekend we looked at James 5:7-11 (available here: http://www.capebiblechapel.org/media.php?pageID=5).
Even in James’ day there was a propensity for impatience, and though some people might have thought things would get better, society has kept them waiting in that regard. We live helter-skelter lives of reckless impatience, made evident daily as we experience road rage and spend precious moments of life fuming over the person in our check-out lane—a lane clearly marked “20 items or less”—who has the audacity to line up 21 items on the conveyor belt (of course you counted their items: you’re in a hurry!). We complain about slow internet, slow cars, slow people: we have a need for speed in every aspect of life.
But what is at the root of all this fast-paced action? Could it be that our need for speed is really an in-born desire for control? Isn’t that truly what “waiting” is, an absence of control in a situation? When the doctor’s office won’t call me back (even though they’ve called several people back who arrived after me!) what is the real cause of my angst? Could it be less about the waiting and more about relying on the doctor and trusting him with the stewardship of my time?
What would happen, though, if we came to the realization that of all the seconds of this precious life, none of them were ours? God created time, He knows the number of days we have, and controls the circumstances of our lives. Time is in His hands; it belongs to Him.
If I truly lived like my seconds were God’s, perhaps I might redeem the time in the grocery line by sending an encouraging text to a friend or starting a (positive!) conversation with someone behind me in line? Maybe I would pray for the driver who swerves into my lane instead of cursing him or her? Maybe that doctor’s office wait could present a chance to get in the Word or share my faith or just be still for a spell?
As we view the world beginning with God and then funneling down to our little lives, it should allow us a calming sense in our hearts. It will permit us to love frustrating people more because they are God’s and because He put us circumstantially together. And, maybe, just maybe, it will enable us to wait patiently and contentedly on others and the Lord in our lives.