There are only a few more days until Christmas, if you can believe it! I feel it is going way too fast. My kids on the other hand, they are anxious and frustrated at how slow each and every day is going! If I'm not mistaken, since December 1st, we haven't had a day go by that they haven't asked to open a present early. No. The answer is always no! I had to wait patiently as a kid, and now it is your turn. That is only fair, right?!
This is one of the hardest things for our culture to put a handle on. Everything we invent and create is to make our life easier and more efficient. From the microwave to fast-food drive thru, we want our food now! I was on a trip to the Memphis Zoo with my wife and three kids. We decided to stop at a McDonalds on the way there because of all the healthy option they have to choose from! I personally do not like the drive-thru. The mysterious person on the other end of the speaker expects me to have an order ready when I get to the screen. I have not even had a chance to look at the menu, and I certainly do not like ordering the same thing at every meal. So the impatience begins. They want my order now! In the same fashion, by the time I drive from the order menu to the pick-up window, made 25 feet away, I expect my food to be made-to-oder, fresh and ready! This time though, we received everything except my wife's grilled chicken wrap. They asked us to pull forward, something we may all be familiar with, most likely so they don't have to look at or hear our impatient pleas that they are not doing a good enough job. We wait in the car for all of two minutes, which feels like twenty, and I decide I better go inside and let them know we are still here, still alive, and still in need of sustenance! Years go by and we finally get our order. And since I went out of my way to tell them what a "wonderful job" they were doing, by asking them why they were not faster, they have each of us a chocolate chip cookie. Well worth the wait! You get the point?! We hate waiting. Here are a few thoughts I have that could help us enjoy the wait.
Wait Time is Not Waste Time
My pastor says this a lot in terms of waiting in God's presence. Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint." I believe this concept to be true in more areas than this one too. Rarely do I ever say, "If only I had been more impatient in this matter!" On the other hand, more times than I can count I have said, "If only I had waited a little longer." With the exception of a doctor's office, "wait time is not waste time!" This leads me to my second thought.
Build in 'Selah' Moments
You are reading through the Psalms and come across this word 'Selah' in the middle or end of a chapter. It is a place for us to pause, reflect, and think about what we just read. We need these moments in life as well. See where you have been. Ask yourself if you like where you are going? We all need a moment to self-asses, or take inventory of our lives. Do I need to make a mid-course correction? Or maybe it is simply to stop and appreciate where you are at the moment. I have to force myself to do this often, or my kids grow up too fast. You blink and wonder where the time has gone?! My last thought is more of a question to ask than a statement.
What is Impatience Costing You?
I think often of Saul, the first king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 10, Samuel asks Saul to wait seven days for his return before he is anointed king. Saul patiently waits the full time and God honors him. Only three chapters later in 1 Samuel 13, we see Samuel ask Saul to do the same thing. Wait seven days for me to come so we can make a sacrifice. This time however, Saul is in a hurry, scared he might lose men and morale, so he does not wait. His impatience cost him the kingdom. What could it cost you?
- A healthy marriage
You can add things to this list in your life. May we, during this Christmas season, try our best to slow down and remember what God did for us?! Let us enjoy time with family and friends, and not worry so much about the small details. Learn to enjoy the wait!