the discipline of waiting

Technology changes the speed of life and I am a product of those changes. My mom tells me about recording the happenings of life on tape (!) and mailing it in a round-robin to three of her friends. It would take months to reach all of them. How times have changed! Today I could send an email, make a blog, set up a conference call, tweet an update, or type a new status on facebook, with the potential for instant feedback and response. Of course, I would never check email during the day hoping for an answer to something I just sent. Of course not.

I’m in an odd season now, wondering what lies ahead. My impulse is impatience–how long will this drag on?!? Yet I know deep in my heart that this waiting is shaping me in healthy ways, causing dependence on God, forcing me to admit that I just can’t wrinkle my nose and make magic happen. (Yes, yes, I used to love “Bewitched”.) I think of Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wing like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Italics mine.) My bible references wait and says that it might also be translated “hope in”. I like that. Is waiting a chance for me to hope? An opportunity to believe that God really is good, all the time?

I planted a miniscule garden this year. (The birds in my neighborhood are getting their daily dose of broccoli, in case you wanted to know. But I digress.) The strawberries do not turn red overnight; neither do the tomatoes. The shelling peas take time to ripen. Every time I plant gardens, start to weed, and watch, I realize how reflective they are of faith for me. It’s fun to plant, painful to weed, and hard to wait, but it is so worth it in the end. The fruit of the labor is (sometimes quite literally) sweet. May it be so in this season, and may I embrace the ambiguity that lies therein.

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