I’m a finger drummer. What do you do in the meantime? When I’m sitting near a table or have my hand on an armrest, you can bet my fingers will be drumming. When I know there's nothing to do but wait, I get antsy. I'm not progressing or moving forward. I'm simply being and waiting. Waiting feels so sedentary to me. I've stopped making progress and have to take a time out.
Waiting. It's for the birds. I mean, come on, let's take laundry. How can something so simple be so grueling? I have wondered why I hate this process so very much and I recently came to the following conclusion. It's because I'm waiting. There's nothing I can do to speed up the process. The machine is doing its job. The work is out of my control. No amount of effort or progress of mine is going to make the machine work faster. I just have to wait. I think we can learn a lot about life as Christ followers from this.
It's intriguing to me how many times God talks about waiting in Scripture.
Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets point to this Messiah that will come if we trust and wait for it. One of the most beautiful books about waiting is Habbakuk. In the midst of struggle, Habbakuk calls out to God and asks when rescue will arrive. God responds saying,
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3).
Even in the Epistles, so much of the language is pointing to the returning of Christ. Titus 2 challenges us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We walked out of the garden and into a cosmic waiting game that we've been playing ever since.
Why does God feel the need to address this with us over and over again? Probably because we don't do it naturally. What is it about waiting that we have such a strong aversion to? I've concluded it's something to do with control. That's usually what it comes down to with me for most things. He is in control. We are not. This is a reality that we do not want to accept. I'm not in (complete) control of finding Mr. Right, having financial security, building a family, or having my next big business break. Waiting patiently means we have to take ourselves out of the driver's seat and just enjoy where the ride takes us. It is trusting God in this journey and having some quality dashboard conversation on the ride there. We know the destination will be so good because that's what God has promised to us. It's taking advantage of this opportunity that we have in waiting and living in the meantime--learning who God is, enjoying life He's given us, and trusting Him to provide.
Put some laundry in the washer, grab a cup of coffee, and have a seat. I can already tell we're going to have some great conversation living here in the meantime...