Recently, I have been pondering the subject of waiting. Waiting is a paradox. I don’t like to wait. Yet I keep others waiting. Waiting can be good because it slows me down when I may be living too fast. It causes me frustration, thwarting me from reaching my “important” goals.
Our society’s attitudes toward waiting is much like my own – increasingly impatient. What was fast ten years ago is considered slow, sometimes leading to stress and conflict. Breaking the speed limit is the norm. “Fast” food is consumed because it is fast, not because it is healthy. Billions of dollars are spent by cell phone providers convincing people that 4G speeds are much better than the slow 3G speeds.
Among other things, ECFA serves people who have a problem with waiting. Waiting can mean patience and perseverance. But it can also mean impatience, avoidance, and procrastination. For example:
Why does a couple wait years to address issues in their marriage until it is almost too late and divorce seems to be the only option?
Why does a person wait to get help to address depression or anxiety?
What are the pressures that result in a pregnant young woman waiting until the eighth month to receive guidance and support?
Why is it so hard for a couple to wait months, even years, for their adopted child to finally reach their home?
Our attitude about waiting need not be a barrier to living a more fulfilled life. Accepting its inevitability is one step. Using it as an opportunity for growth is another. Discovering what God might be teaching is yet another. Each of us needs wisdom from God and others to make sense out of the waiting moments, hours and years of our lives. Our counselors are available to help people know when to wait and when to act.
A verse from the book of Romans (8:23) places waiting in a broader perspective: “…We too wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.”
Now that is something worth waiting for!