Seasons of Waiting
I wouldn’t have thought shopping could be profound, but I’ve learned something important while using my credit card. No, this post has nothing to do with budgeting or finance (but we can circle back to that later if you gals want to!). This post has to do with waiting. Using my credit card exposed to me how insanely impatient I am. I’m not going to lie; I HATED it when they switched all the credit cards to having chips on them. I had one card that did not get switched until a few months after all my others and I clung to it for dear life. I would use that card for everything so that I didn’t have to use the cards with chips. Why? Because it’s about two seconds faster to swipe the card than to wait for the chip reader to work. How insane is that? I dislike waiting so much, I don’t even want to wait a few seconds for a credit card reader! If someone in front of me pays with cash or, gasp, writes a personal check, I can hardly stop myself from rolling my eyes and letting out an exacerbated sigh.
I think that this says something profound about our lives. In this day in age we go to great lengths to avoid even small periods of waiting. We stream TV so we can watch what we want when we want, without commercials slowing us down, we order food online so it will be ready immediately and we won’t have to wait, and we are always looking for a secret pill or workout that will expedite our fitness goals.
Learning to wait, and wait well, is a valuable and lost art. I think some people feel like rushing will allow them to do and experience more, but it’s really the opposite. If you are always impatient you’re not fully active in your own life. It’s easy to spend our lives constantly wishing for the next stage. I wish I was married, but I try not to spend time dwelling on that. I don’t think wishing for the next stage is wrong, but it makes us susceptible to discontentment. The problem is that there will always be a next stage. If we don’t learn how to be content and embrace a time of singleness, how will we respond when we are married and walking through a season of infertility? Or when we have 3 kids under four, and are walking through a very weary season where we just wish everyone would sleep through the night in their own beds? There will always be or a next step, another promotion, and another goal we hope to accomplish.
Being content and embracing our current stage in life will allow us to truly live life to the fullest. By all means consider the future and try to plan appropriately, but be fully present in your life today. I love The Message paraphrase of Matthew 6:34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Whatever your current season is, know that this is where God has chosen to place you for the time being. If you can look to Him and trust His timing in your life, you will be much more able to embrace your current stage of life. If we are constantly looking ahead, we will literally wish away our lives, never enjoying where we are and always looking for the next phase to start.
I cannot find who originally said it, but one of my favorite quotes is “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now.” I think that keeping this in mind can transform the way we think about our current season of life. While I may not have the husband or children I thought I would have, I have a great job. I prayed for months for a new job and God graciously gifted that to me last year. I have a college degree. I vividly remember the days I spent agonizing over tests in nursing school thinking I would never be done with school.
My point is this, we will always be waiting for something, instead of being discontent or inpatient, take a minute to look back on how far God has already brought you and the countless prayers that have already been answered. Reflecting on God’s goodness can help transition us from an attitude of impatience to an attitude of gratefulness.