Waiting…people don’t like to wait. We are generally an impatient people with instant gratification right there for us “waiting” for our every need. Even now, with recent supply chain issues, we are angry because we have to wait longer to get things we want delivered from Amazon. Heck I don’t even like waiting in a fast food drive through if there are more than 4 cars in line!
So, waiting can be difficult. Waiting can keep us up at night.
Waiting patiently – being calm, not in a hurry despite delays – is tricky for a number of reasons:
We might have FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. We don’t want to wait because we might be missing something. Or, we might feel like there are devastating consequences for our waiting, we might lose money or have a negative health impact if we wait too long.
But what can we do to wait better or maybe more importantly, how can we teach our kids how to wait better?
Keep your eye on the prize!
Focus on your end goal. What is it you are waiting on? Is your goal to accomplish or achieve something or is your goal to experience the journey along the way? The ultimate prize is always personal growth and transformation, so while you wait, how can you be formed in the process? You can’t skip the process of formation to make it to an arbitrary goal. ‘
Reframe expectations – cut yourself some slack!
Maybe the timeline you set was a little too aggressive, cut yourself some slack and reframe your expectations to include a more realistic timeline to accomplish your goal. Yes, this does delay reaching the end goal, but it reduces the anxiety as deadlines come and go.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
One never knows what outside forces are going to impact the goal you have in mind. You don’t know what will interrupt your program and make you wait even longer. What thinks can you do to minimize that risk? How can you prepare for the worst case scenario while hoping for the best?
Find the joy in the waiting
What are the true and lovely things that bring you joy. “Joy” and “waiting” aren’t often associated together. I, for one, am not exactly “joyful” when being forced to wait. Usually people might use the word “grumpy!” What is there to be joyful about in the meantime? How can you find some fulfillment while you wait for the goal.
Last Sunday our friend Reggie Byrd brought a message to Engage Newark regarding waiting. He talked about the story in the Bible about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Before Jesus went to the town where Lazarus was, his sisters, Mary and Martha had sent a message to Jesus to come quick because Lazarus was sick and about to die. Jesus decides not to go, he makes them wait. In fact, while they wait, Lazarus ends up dying. By the time Jesus finally arrives it is a full 10 days after the sisters first sent the message – Lazarus was dead 4 days by then.
Eventually Jesus tells them to remove the stone and calls him by saying, “Lazarus, come out!” But don’t miss the waiting period while they waited upon the Lord to come to their aid. Those day must have felt like an eternity for the family! They must’ve lost all hope and had such disappointment and even anger with God. (We talk about anger with God here).
“They” say, “Patience is a virtue.” Maybe so, but it is still tricky to wait patiently. The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament of the Bible says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall rise up on wings, like eagles.” Isaiah 49:31 You are meant to rise up and soar! But it takes time and patience to arrive at your destination.
To hear more from Reggie Byrd, click here and skip to minute 27.