Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Art of Waiting

I am not good at waiting. I naturally want to "make things happen." This can be a strength at times and a huge weakness at other times. I know this is an area God is working on in me.

That is probably why I thought so highly of this article written by Robert Tamasy which was recently sent to me:

Observing that today’s business and professional world is fast-paced is as profound as declaring that a horse has four legs. So what else is new? But the pace of the work world, even over the past two decades, has accelerated at a rate that none of us could ever have imagined.

In the 1980s, overnight mail and facsimile machines dramatically speeded up communications. Instead of waiting days to receive important letters and contracts, we could send them to be received the next day – or even within minutes. Over the years that followed, the Internet, voice mail, electronic mail and text messaging made many uses for overnight mail and faxes obsolete. Communication became instantaneous. Why wait, we thought, when we can have what we need immediately?

These advances, in many ways, have provided great benefits. Few of us would wish to return to days when we had to exercise extreme patience anticipating the arrival of urgent documents, correspondence and other forms of communication to arrive. However, our increasingly “instant society” is rapidly depriving us of a unique life skill – the art of waiting.

Today it seems we must do everything in a hurry, even when we are not sure why. Everyone is busy, everyone is in a rush – therefore, we must do the same. But there is a certain virtue in waiting, something that we cannot achieve by attempting to compress time.

For example, fine wines are fermented over years. An exquisite meal cannot be produced in a microwave oven. Strong, stately trees do not grow overnight. A beautiful painting cannot be created within minutes with a few splashes of paint. And qualities we find in the best leaders and those we admire the most are not achieved in a matter of moments. Character – commitment to high, noble attributes and values of humankind – is forged over a lifetime. Perhaps this is why one of the world’s oldest and most enduring books, the Bible, speaks so often about the necessity – and value – of waiting. Consider just a sampling of what it says on this topic:

Waiting patiently results in the expectation of success. In the work world we are action-oriented. “Do something, even if it’s wrong!” seems our battle cry. Yet sometimes the best thing to do, particularly in times of crisis and uncertainty, is to wait, taking time to evaluate the proper course of action. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…those that hope in the Lord will inherit the land…. Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land…” (Psalm 37:7, 9, 34).

Waiting provides time for problems to become resolved satisfactorily. When things go wrong, we often seek to take matters into our own hands and attempt to fix them. Often, however, adverse situations are outside of our control. At such times it is usually wise to wait for proper resolution. “For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18).

Waiting helps us renew our energy and internal resources. Even when we feel tired, when every ounce of energy seems depleted, we often press on in the face of challenges. Sometimes taking the necessary time and recharge our internal batteries will enable us to proceed more productively and effectively. “…But those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).


Renee Drew said...

The small group I'm in, for those of us with Chronic Illnesses, just talked at our meeting last night about how our illnesses have forced us to slow down. One of the scripture verses we talked about was Isaiah 40:29-31.

Rick said...

You know when I really hate waiting?

When I have to go to the bathroom. It's true.

Jim Lange said...

Renee, being forced to slow down can be a good thing. I just had surgery this morning to have a hernia repaired and will be down for a couple of days. Slowing down is a hard thing for me but I am kind of looking forward to this break.

Rick, maybe a little too much information?

Rick said...

Sorry, I was feeling a little whimsical when I posted that I think. My bad.

Jim Lange said... Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
whim·si·cal /ˈʰwɪmzɪkəl, ˈwɪm-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hwim-zi-kuhl, wim-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. given to whimsy or fanciful notions; capricious: a pixyish, whimsical fellow.
2. of the nature of or proceeding from whimsy, as thoughts or actions: Her writing showed whimsical notions of human behavior.
3. erratic; unpredictable: He was too whimsical with regard to his work.

You were very whimsical!

Just giving you a hard time (which you totally deserve!) my friend!

Rick said...

Gotta love online dictionaries! WOOT!