I want my children to learn to wait well.
On the surface this is a common lesson we must teach little ones. There’s waiting in line, waiting your turn, waiting for dinner to be ready, waiting for mommy to be done with something, waiting for the clock to show you can get out of bed. Waiting for little ones is everywhere. It is a way of life.
But I’m not trying to raise kids that can wait in line at the post office without rolling their eyes at the bureaucracy – I mean I am, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I want them to wait well with and for the Lord. Turns out, waiting is a way of life for adults too.
As I sit and stare at our homey Christmas tree early in the morning, I can see our outdoor lights reflect against the bleakness that is a midwestern winter. It looks dark, dead, and somehow beautiful out there. Even though the world around has succumbed to the inevitable process of losing something so valuable as leaves, a source of food and shelter for many, it sits in calm measured waiting, knowing that somewhere deep inside life is stirring to break through again.
Sometimes we lose something valuable in order for something new to come in. But we have to wait. We often wait in darkness, with glints and glimmers of hope showing us the path forward, but still we wait. If we choose to remain tethered to the hope of the Lord then our waiting isn’t in vain. Our waiting is fruitful, much like the scene out my front window. We can be present in the moment, sit in the waiting, and have joy for what’s to come. We can choose not to distract ourselves or look for ways to speed up or end the waiting. We can choose the quiet waiting, knowing the waiting will end.
Turns out waiting is a way of life for adults too. Waiting for the doctor to call, a better job, a new baby, healing, love, friends, a spouse …. There is lots to wait for in life. Tethered to the hope of eternity we can wait with eager expectation and still be present in the moment today. We can hold both in our hands at the same time.
This is the waiting I want my kids to learn to do well.