How to get comfortable in the waiting room

Charis Tan // August 31, 2017, 7:17 am

In the waiting

If you are currently trudging through a probably-quite-agonising period of waiting for something, here are a couple of thoughts I had recently that I hope will be of some help.

1. Waiting is about becoming ready for an indefinite moment. It’s about preparedness.

Today my sister Corrie said in passing, on some random topic, “I’m so prepared.”

I found myself absent-mindedly wondering aloud, “What does ‘-pare’ mean? That’s a word, right?”

“Yeah,” she replied, making the relevant action, “like, you know, to pare an apple?”

I went to check the dictionary, and to pare something means to trim off an excess. You do it in advance (that’s the pre-) so that when the moment you’re waiting for finally arrives – whenever that may be – you want to have already shed your “excess” so you can really run with it.

As people who don’t know very much, it helps a whole lot to know someone to whom nothing is unknown.

2. Waiting is trusting God’s timing (presupposing that you want to live according to His timeline).

I told a friend recently, “There are actually no real unknowns in life, just things that we don’t know.”

“That’s a thought,” she said.

“It’s truth,” I replied.

“It’s a true thought,” she conceded.

As people who don’t know very much, it helps a whole lot to know someone to whom nothing is unknown. I feel like life is all about timing, and that waiting should be less about stumbling around in a fog, and instead more about getting comfortable with living according to rhythms much larger than ourselves.

My gardener Dad always talks about the power of seeds, so that’s really rubbed off on me. It’s erroneous to call something dead simply because it is still. A seed has more life scripted into its DNA than any of us could dare to hazard an estimate about.

So I think we have to re-adopt our posture towards waiting.

Waiting is a gargantuan opportunity to be attentive and sensitive to the incremental growth hidden deep below the surface of visible events. If you don’t know God it’s a chance to know Him, and if you do know Him it’s a chance to get further acquainted with the way He likes to work together with you.

As a Christian, I’ve found that the Holy Spirit is like a secret agent you gradually get the hang of working with. Sometimes when we’re waiting he’s clearing the path ahead, or sometimes he’s just round the corner covering your back.

Or sometimes he’s just cherishing the final moments he gets to hang with you – before you get busy all over again.