Friday, January 15, 2010

Hurry Up and Wait

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

-- Micah 7:7

Call it a milestone of age and maturity: it's that longing we all eventually get for "the good old days." They were the times when life was slower, folks knew their neighbors and the world's troubles were thousands of miles away. But maybe like fine wine, memories too get better with age. Consider Otto Bettmann's sobering paperback The Good Old Days -- They Were Terrible! It explains why this so-called Golden Era was only good for a privileged few and why it was unrelentingly difficult for most. Pollution, crime, tainted food and drug addiction were actually common in 19th Century America.

(Some things never seem to change.)

Does this mean that today's Age of Convenience is really the best of times? We live in a 24/7 world of hurry -- one of instant communications, Walmart Supercenters and microwave popcorn. And just about anything we want is literally available to us at the click of a mouse. But take another look and you'll discover that we're not always on the move. Efficiency experts report that on average each day, a person spends an estimated 45 to 62 minutes waiting. That covers common tasks like waiting in line at the bank, waiting at the restaurant for the waiter to take your order, and even waiting for your car to fill up at the gas pump. (All-in-all, that’s about three years of waiting by the time we reach age 70!)

Few people like to wait, and multi-tasking to make the most of down-time has become a valued life skill. But the fact is that waiting isn't always a waste. It’s actually an essential part of God's plan for our lives; it's that process that enables us to become. This concept might be difficult to grasp because the human viewpoint of time differs greatly from that of our Creator. Thankfully, the Apostle Peter helps to put it into perspective: "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends," he wrote. "To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day."

As Christ-followers, we must understand that what happens while we're waiting is often more important than what we're waiting for. Ask anyone who has spent grueling hours at the hospital contemplating the health and future of a loved one. Did their soul-searching experience bring a closer dependence on God? It should have. After all, it's when we're so humbled and powerless that we realize we can do nothing on our own.

So maybe our never-stop, 24/7 world actually revolves around waiting. Let's therefore make the most of our time in God's Waiting Room -- a place where we can look for ways and opportunities to say yes to Him with a sense of expectancy and hope.

"Be still, and know that I am God," He tells us through Psalm 46:10. "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

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