by Ross A. Aalgaard, MSW, LICSW
612.332.7743 ext. 285
...but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Sometimes the child within me makes it very difficult for me to wait. When I was a boy, it was difficult for me to hear my mother say, "Wait." I often would beg my parents to start opening gifts weeks before Christmas arrived. "Oh, please? Just one." My mother would try her best to tell me that this was not a good idea. By opening a gift now, I would spoil the surprise she told me. That really didn't seem to bother me since I am not a big fan of surprises anyway. In addition, she would attempt to convince me that there was joy found in waiting. Now that I am older I am beginning to understand what she meant.
I remember asking an adult religious education class what people did when they were waiting in a doctor's office or waiting in line for their turn to occur. One man stated he carried note cards in his pocket with Bible verses on them. He would pull out the cards and read the Bible verses, occasionally taking the time to memorize a verse or two. A woman mentioned that she carried a book everywhere she went. Whenever she got to a place where she needed to wait, she pulled out her book and read. Now I often see people on their cell phones, computers, or iPads passing time as they wait. We seem to have found ways to fill our wait times.
The fast-paced world we live in has taken away the ability for us to wait. Sometimes pastoral counseling can allow people to slow down. There can be a benefit to waiting. Time can bring healing, change, and renewal. When waiting occurs, become aware of it and intentional in it. Rather than ruminating or becoming anxious, take time to work on the person within you.