What is it about people with the letters D-R in front of their name? It seems like that no matter what they might practice I am always waiting for Doctors.
I go to the Dentist... WAITING
I go to the Doctor (Medical) ... WAITING
I go to the Emergency Room ... WAITING
I go to the Chiropractor... WAITING
It doesn't seem to matter why I am there I am always occupying one of those waiting rooms. You know the kind... with dated magazines and one of those crazy kids toys that you push the wood block shapes over a multi-colored wire with multiple loops, until it reaches the other side.
The problem with the waiting room is that you have no idea how long you are going to be waiting there. It could be one minute, it could be tow hours, all you know is that you are waiting and your appointment was really just a suggestion of when you should show up to start the clock on your wait.
The only thing worse than waiting in a waiting room is the sights, sounds and smells of the waiting room. At the Dentist or Chiropractor you are probably ok... but if you're waiting in a medical waiting room, you are best served to bring along your favorite SARS mask and hand sanitizer, and maybe some ear plugs.
You know what's worse than all of these things combined? Being stuck in the Waiting Room of life. You know what I'm talking about. You are waiting for the next big thing, the next relationship, the next job, the next promotion, the next raise, the next wife, the next kid, the next big idea, the next thing that is going to come and change your life. The feeling that you are stuck on a treadmill, going through the same motion,s and the same movements and nothing is changing. There is no forward progress, no development, just ground hog day... over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
It is in these moments that we often find ourselves in a shouting match with God... and most often it's one sided. But if we are being honest, at least you are on speaking terms. Many of us shut down all together, we become paralyzed. We don't want to screw anything up so we stop and we wait. If we aren't getting any answers from heaven then we just stop moving forward, worried that our entire world will collapse, because even though we aren't talking to Jesus we are desperately awaiting word of his approval, and here we stand... stuck.
Tim Keller talks about the idea of waiting in his book, The Songs of Jesus. He explains that any servant of a Noble Lord or Royalty will stand in wait for their master. When they are waiting for their master to be able to serve them, they aren't just standing by waiting to be told something. The servant or waiter will watch every move, will be keenly aware of every movement, and will begin to anticipate need, and in fact, the better that servant knows their master the more efficiently they are able to serve, often times providing whatever it is the master may need before a single word is spoken.
When we think of waiting for God... or waiting for the next thing in life, we often stand, and wait, twiddling our thumbs, awaiting a command or instruction, but what if we decided to stop living that way. What if being paralyzed in our waiting, we became active in our waiting. If only there was a book that outlined the desires of God, that spoke about His character and his tendencies, if only their was a document or a manual that outlined a way forward.
While waiting for God, don't just stand stuck in the mud. Understand that you can be responsive to His tendencies, that your connection with Him is just as important as an answer and that the closer you are, the more you know Him, the clearer it becomes for us to respond to His character, His desires and His love. It is amazing what can happen in our lives, and it is amazing how far we will travel if we re-orient our lives around His heart, and live responsive to Him, instead of always waiting for Him to respond to us.
Let's not hold God ransom, using our destiny as a bargaining tool. Let's respond to His goodness, His greatness, His kindness, and move with the unforced rhythms of His grace.
Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose.
Follow Brett on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook: @brettesslinger and of course over on Snapchat at: brett.esslinger