Today I walked past a bus stop (to my car, yeah I’m not a public transport girl!) and I noticed the different postures of those waiting for the bus. One was standing to attention, like a soldier, eyes focused down the road to where the bus would come round the corner. Intent on the bus. Another was sitting idly, relaxing, while several more were making use of the time to be on their smart phones.
Waiting – it is very much a part of life. Dr Seuss puts it most elegantly in his book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”…
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
Or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
In life we wait – not just for buses, planes and Doctors, but to meet the spouse, to get the promotion or land the perfect job, to have children. There is often a milestone we are waiting for. Some of these milestones come with prayers to God for breakthrough, for answers, for the fulfilment of a promise or dream.
The question is, what do we do in the Waiting place? Are we in standstill not taking in present surroundings, eyes just fixed on that bus (answered prayer / promise) to come? Or are we keeping ourselves occupied, making the most of the time to do other things. Not giving up, still waiting, but being active in the wait.
I waited for my husband. We didn’t meet until I was 30. But those 20s were not wasted years on just waiting for him. I travelled overseas, bought a house, worked in a job I loved, was promoted, head hunted. I enjoyed having a girl flat with pink cushions in the lounge and flower arrangements in the bathroom. My friends and I made the most of social events. More importantly I made the most of the time I had to spend with God.
And then suddenly the man who became my husband appeared. I’m sure those passengers waiting for the bus who were engrossed on their smart phones found that the time sped by and the bus seemed to suddenly appear. It felt that way to me.
Now as life continues beautifully with my husband and family, I look back at the waiting place and feel content and happy. In my home are reminders (souvenirs) that during the waiting time, I didn’t just wait, I lived.
Don’t just wait – live!