I struggle with waiting. It came to me clearly as I waited at the bank the other day. My handicapped brother recently moved to Florida, and I’m helping him make the necessary changes that come with moving. I dragged my heels for a few days before I finally took him to the bank because I knew it would be an ordeal. I knew I would have to wait.
I tried to plan the right day and right hour to go so that there would be a minimum amount of people competing for time with a teller. It didn’t work out that way, though. We wound up going on a Friday afternoon, the day and time I would normally avoid going to a bank. I had to “die to my flesh” and do it for my brother because it needed to be done.
I knew we couldn’t go to a regular teller, we’d have to speak to one of the specialty assistants, or whatever banks call them. There were about six people ahead of us. A quick scan of the cubicles revealed two workers at their desks. We would be there awhile. At least I could sit down to wait.
I’m one of those people who will slyly walk faster than others to get to the front of the line. I hate lines. I hate to wait. I normally would have walked out and waited for another day. My brother was eager to take care of his business, so I had to bite the bullet and stay.
Today was different, though. I resigned myself to the fact that I would be there for some time, and I might as well relax. With a five and six year old living in my house for the summer, I actually relished my quiet, uninterrupted time at the bank. My brother is very easy going and is happy talking or not talking, so he didn’t demand any attention from me. I also had the entertainment of my Iphone which can quickly pass time before I know it. Instead, I began to ponder my intolerance with waiting.
We spend a lot of time waiting throughout the day. We wait for the water to boil, we wait in lines, we wait for the weather to change, we wait to hear from people, we wait for our computers to do what we want them to (I spend an excessive amount of time on this one it seems) and the list goes on and on.
The most difficult one for me, though, is waiting on the Lord. I’ve known about my impatience for His plan for me to unfold for quite some time, but as I sat at the bank, I was surprised about my discovery of my impatience at everyday life.
Could it be that God is using my everydayness to teach me more about waiting for Him? Perhaps I need to overcome that before He moves me on. After all, if I can’t wait for the mundane events of everyday living, how can God hand me the responsibility of what I desire without concern for my impatience? Heaven knows I’ve messed it up before when I’ve jumped ahead of His plan.
I began to look at other areas of my life affected by my dislike of waiting and my impatience, especially my relationship with my husband. I get impatient at his insensitivity to my desires for neatness, and I can barely wait for him to turn the television off. Sometimes I can’t wait for him to go to work, but usually, I can’t wait for him to come home. I can’t wait to tell him something that happened, but then I have to wait for the right time that he will listen. Mostly though, I can’t wait to spend time with him.
Through all this analyzing of my dislike of waiting, God revealed to me that my impatience is nothing more than selfishness. Ouch! Those of you who have followed my blog for some time know my thoughts about selfishness. I don’t like it! It is the number one cause for problems in marriage and a relationship with God. I thought I had my self under control. Apparently not.
Why do I think my time is much more valuable than those also waiting around me? Why do I think my goals should unfold – today - when there are people and things that still need to be prepared before it will happen – the right way?
I’m now taking a new approach to waiting. I’m getting rid of all the unnecessary obligations in my life that take away my time and lead to my impatience, so I don’t feel so hurried. I need to focus, even more than I have been, on others – as I wait upon the Lord to advance me. Isn’t that why we’re put on Earth? For others? Not for our SELVES!
Now I can wait in a line and reach out to the people around me instead of rushing to get past them. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?