As I write this I am sitting in a waiting room. I am not fond of waiting rooms. It is a nice waiting room; a flat panel TV tuned to the Weather Channel just told me it is raining in Milwaukee. The magazine selection is ok, except the titles seem a little tilted towards women; I can’t seem to find a Road and Track or Popular Mechanics in the stack. The medical personnel at this facility are friendly and efficient and the furniture is modern and comfortable. Free wifi would be nice but writing on my iPad lets me do something productive while I wait. But to be honest, I would rather be somewhere else. I guess the real reason I am not a fan of waiting rooms is I am trapped here. I am captive to a schedule other than my own. I have no control over when I can be set free from this antiseptic closet. I do like being in control. I like to control my schedule, my environment, my to-do list and a hundred other things.
As I sit here and reflect on waiting, I recall that God uses “waiting rooms” – Joseph spent years in slavery and jail before he became an official in Egypt. Moses waited 80 years before starting his mission of deliverance. David waited years from his anointing until he assumed the throne. Before He began His public ministry, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness; Paul spent 3 years in Arabia and considerable time in prison. There must be some virtue in waiting.
Maybe the “waiting room” experiences of life are meant to help us break the addiction of control. Our God wants us to know that we need to recognize and allow His control in our lives. Our waiting is to be more than marking time- it should be a time to renew our confidence in God’s ability and involvement in our lives. If we do, our expectations, frustrations and evaluations of life will slide into a more comfortable place. We can spend more time praising and less time complaining. More joy, less stress. More peace, less conflict.
As I close, I am still in the waiting room and don’t know how long I will be here, but the above thoughts give me a little more perspective and peace and I like that. Being a little less in control is genuinely good for me. But I am going to find something on TV besides the Weather Channel.
Jesse Waggoner @JesseWaggoner
Originally published June 21, 2012