I don’t like waiting. In fact, I rather dislike waiting.
Do you know what I dislike even more than waiting? I hate it when someone is waiting on me. I’d rather be way early than a little bit late.
It seems I come by it naturally. My dad, also a pastor, taught me that it is immensely disrespectful to expect someone to wait for you. In essence, it says that your time is more valuable than theirs. (Yes, I know that there are extenuating circumstances from time to time.)
Of course, he came by it naturally as well. My grandparents (on my dad’s side) both moved on to Heaven several years ago. They lived their last several years right around the corner from the church building where they worshiped. They were always there 30-45 minutes before anything began. Always.
As a little boy, I remember going with these same grandparents to the next town over to go to Wal-Mart and being there about 8:30 – even though we were perfectly aware that the store didn’t open until 9:00. We would do our shopping and looking around, but by 10:15 we were hurrying toward the check-out so we could drive to the pizza place and be there before they opened. It was a good quarter-mile to the pizza place. So we would sit and wait for them to unlock the doors at 11:00.
We did a lot of waiting. I dare say that I am still better at it than my sister. But she has three little girls at home that will, as Grandpa used to say, “break that dog of sucking eggs” and she’ll get much better at waiting – though I’m sure she’s better already.
We would sit in Grandpa’s pea-green Ford Maverick and wait. Grandmother would offer us some Juicy Fruit chewing gum – which she always had and somehow never seemed to run out. And Grandpa would make up stories. And he’d say something ornery and Grandmother would chide him, “Now, Carl!…”
I find some situations in my life right now that indicate I’m going to do some waiting…waiting for people to change their minds, waiting for God to do some more renovation in me, waiting for God’s unmistakable whisper in my spirit to say it’s time to step out and try again.
But, like those seemingly endless hours in the car waiting for a store or restaurant to open, the waiting will not be so bad – may seem only a moment – because I’m with people I love…people that make me laugh…people with whom I can cry…people who will wait with me.
And while I’m waiting, I will serve and learn and grow and work and pray…and wait.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:5)