Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Waiting Game

Wait! Wait! Wait! We spend much of our life waiting for one thing or another. At the moment I am waiting for the birth of my sixth grandchild! I’m both excited and anxious.

At the moment—while I’m waiting—I’m thinking about all the other times in my life that I’ve spent waiting: in traffic jams, in line at the grocery store, on hold on the telephone, in the waiting rooms of doctors' and dentists' offices. (It's kind of funny that they are actually called waiting rooms!)

I've waited on innumerable occasions to pick up my children from school, little league, ballet, piano and voice lessons, swimming lessons, etc. I've waited for wash cycles to finish and cakes to bake. Each summer I wait for the first ripe tomato. I often wait for flights to arrive or depart. I've waited for company to arrive, and on rare occasions, for company to leave. Then there’s the time I nervously waited for the doctor to give a report on a CAT scan on my mother. I waited during a quadruple heart by-pass surgery on my father. And this only scratches the surface in my lengthy repertoire of waiting.

We start the waiting game early in childhood. We wait for birthdays, Christmas, and to be old enough to go to school. Ironically, when we start school, we then wait for the final bell so we can go home.

We wait for summer. We wait for supper to be served. As young girls, we wait to be old enough to wear make-up, jewelry, and high heels. We wait for our parents to think we are old enough to date. We wait for the day we get our driver's license, and then for high school graduation.

Then we wait some more. Many wait for a good job, for love, for their first home, and perhaps for children. When the babies come, we find ourselves waiting for the day when they are finally out of diapers. On exceptionally frustrating days, we may even find ourselves waiting for our children to grow up. Then when they do, we wait for them to come home. Amazing how that is! Before long we are waiting for retirement. All of our life is spent waiting for something.

We wait for many other things that may be less obvious; yet, they are no less important. We wait silently for an apology or for someone's behavior to change. Approval and appreciation—for that too we wait. We wait for our prayers to be answered. Many wait for the romance that seems to elude them. Others wait for a wayward child to have a change of heart. Some wait for a promotion at work, for opportunity to knock, for the proverbial ship to come sailing in, and for dreams to come true. Maybe you are waiting to win the lottery or the sweepstakes. Just don't count on winning the Reader's Digest sweepstakes. That's the one I'm waiting for!

What are you waiting for at this moment? As for me, I'm waiting for my dress size to shrink. I’m waiting on a package that was supposedly shipped two weeks ago. Then I'm also waiting on publishers and editors to respond to manuscripts. Yes, I spend a lot of precious time playing the waiting game.

The truth is that we will always be waiting for something. Since that's the case, we must learn to live and enjoy life fully while we wait. If we are always waiting for something before we can enjoy our lives, we may end up missing out on the life we were waiting to live. We must remember to live life in the meantime—while we are waiting. Life is not around the next bend in the road or over the next hill. Life is now—this very moment.

Isaiah 40:31 "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." NIV
(c) 2006 Marlene Depler


Alice said...

I loved this post Marlene. It's so true that we spend a lot of time waiting - (hoping, anticipating, dreaming, fearing, worrying, expecting, planning, yearning, and wishing) - and so often we miss the best part of life, which is already here. Still, it would be a sad state to be in if there was nothing to look forward to, in this life and the next.

Sharon K said...

Marlean what a good post and oh so true, this waiting game we play with life. I do agree while waiting for the next thing to happen we may miss the sunset that is there for us to see right now.

Alice said...

Hi Marlene - the 'comments' tag for your latest posting seems to have disappeared so I'm sending it through this one. Congratulations to everyone on the birth of baby Laura. I'm sure you are so very thrilled and relieved - I can see she has 5 toes on each foot. She's a lucky little girl to have grandparents who will love her to bits, as I'm sure all the family will too.

Hugs from across the world.