Waiting is not something that comes natural to me. When I am put to wait, the time drags by so slowly, so tediously. While other more accommodating individuals are able to find something with which to occupy themselves, I am often given to tapping my fingers and restlessness. Time passes so slowly when I have to wait. Even if after but a few minutes time in wait, my mind begins to play tricks on me. As time passes everything starts becoming a slow motion ballet. The more I long for an end to it, the slower it goes.
I recently visited my doctor for an annual check-up. Since the days are long gone when you simply walked into a doctor’s office (not a clinic processing room) and announced that you were there and ready to be examined by the doctor, I knew that I would be in for a long wait. After checking in at the reception desk I scanned the vast waiting room for a comfortable seat that afforded at least several good magazines at hand and ample space for me to stretch my legs. (Fidgeting begins with my legs and rapidly progresses throughout my trunk until my entire body is caught up in a nervous waiting dance.) I found just the right spot and plunked myself down. Already having in mind that I would check with one of the waiting room receptionists in short order so that I might know how long a wait I was in store for, I picked a spot nearest to the desk so that I could watch the progression of patients in and out of the room. If those who had come in after me got “waited on” before me, I would certainly go up to the desk and ask the question–– “Is the doctor running behind?” I waited until I saw the first evidence of a time plot against me. A name was called and a person who had come in several minutes after me advanced through the waiting room, past the reception sentries and into the convoluted hallways that led to the doctor and eventual freedom. I made my move. “Is the doctor behind?” “Yes sir. The doctor is running behind. I’m sure we’ll call you in just a few minutes.” Having justified my suspicions that my doctor was running behind, I returned to my seat strangely satisfied that at least if I had to wait, I now had the upper hand over the sentries who watched over the block of seats waiting for their doctor. I knew he was running behind. Now, at least, there was some justification for the wait. I was on time but he was not. What had been a wait had now become a game and as everyone knows, it’s far more occupying to play the game than to simply watch it.
When we call upon our Heavenly Father for a bit of His time, it is often tempting to test His concept of time against our own. As when making an appointment with a doctor, one should assume that His time and our time are not probably in synchronous rhythm. The nature of what a doctor does is just cause for what often becomes a protracted wait. It is a part of the process and there is little way to get around it. When waiting on a doctor it is probably a good idea to hone one’s patience than to hone one’s sword. After all, it’s not really a game but a simple reality that each of us needs to accept. Perhaps that’s why it’s called a waiting room. In like manner, when we seek prayer appointments with God, we need to keep in mind that the wait is part of the process. Waiting engenders endurance and endurance engenders faith. The Doctor isn’t really behind and the wait will probably do us some good.
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