Wednesday, June 15, 2011

God's Waiting Room

By nature I am not a patient person.  
You see, I find it difficult to wait.  For anything.  Oh, I CAN wait.  But I don't like to.  Especially when I don't know the outcome...which I am finding is most always.

Today I had to go to a waiting room with someone - a doctor's waiting room - and when I walked in, it looked like an airport waiting area, the seats were like that, back to back and decidedly uncomfortable for long waits.  I settled down to what I thought would be a very long session. But - to my surprise I didn't have to wait long.  Within 5 minutes our name was called.

It's funny - when we sat in the exam room and waited for the doctor to show up (which only took another 5 minutes or so), the calm of the inevitable sunk in and my panic started to abate.  I can't explain it other than to say it was a sense of something being surreal, of a process that we'd entered that was unavoidable and that would come to its own conclusion.

Within a total of 30 minutes from walking in, we had seen the doctor and were out of there with instructions from his nurse for the next visit.  Hm.  I had been hoping that there would be some sort of information that was conclusive.  Well, at least the guy told us what to expect next.  But it means I - we - still have to wait.  

Matter of fact, I think I have spent a significant percentage of my life waiting for things and for people.  Ferry terminals account for approximately 3 months of my life.    Doctor's offices probably another couple of months. Scary! 

There's no way I could measure the amount of time I have spent waiting for this or that to happen.  Or for this person or that person to 'straighten up and fly right'.  What a waste of perfectly good time that might otherwise be spent in enjoying life.  One wise fellow I know says, "Life is what happens to you between your plans."  I like that.

When I think about it, I realize that along the way, God gives me "something to do while I'm waiting" but - as is often the case - I don't do it.  That something is twofold. 

The first thing I get to do is trust.  A friend told me today that trust was a 4-letter word (two Ts) and it's true, I find it hard to let go and trust that things which are beyond my control will turn out the way they are supposed to turn out.  This friend suggested that this would be a good opportunity to take God for a test drive.  I responded, "I've been test driving God for years; it's time to buy."  I have a tendency to panic about certain things and to rail against the powers that be that I have no control over the outcome.  I know from experience that all that gets me is knots in my stomach.  And those take quite a while to loosen.  How much better to accept the things I cannot change.

The second thing I get to do is enjoy now while it is now.  I don't know what will happen tomorrow or even in the next minute.  But I do know that the things that are happening are happening to me NOW and that I can refuse to let tomorrow's trouble rob me of the joy of the present moment.  This involves a great deal of gratitude and a whole lot of letting go.  

Even if I don't understand why or I don't know what the result will be. 

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