Waiting - Monday Musing, March 1, 2021
Waiting. Who likes to wait? We live in a world that is always in a hurry. Fast food, take-out delivery, curbside pick-up, overnight shipping, and instant downloads. We cringe whenever we must stand in line at the grocery store or we find ourselves in a waiting room for a medical provider to call our name.
The Psalmist writes, “Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” (25:5, NRSV). Did we read those words correctly – all day long? But we don’t have time to wait all day long, we have telephone calls to make, notes to get out in the mail, and an endless to-do list. Can’t we simply add our prayers on the to-do list and cross them off as we work our way down the list? What, we have to wait for an answer to our prayers? Really, all day long? Oh, how we wish that our prayers to God were answered as quickly as the download speed of Xfinity! But the Psalmist reminds us that we must wait, and waiting is hard.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of my Candidating for The Federated Church of Orleans. It was such an exciting day last year. If it weren’t for the fact I needed to give my previous employer three months’ notice, you would have wanted me to start that day. We all couldn’t wait to begin our joint ministry together!
And then, the coronavirus global pandemic hit, and honestly, this has been an incredibly frustrating year of waiting. We have been waiting to greet one another with a handshake or a hug. We have been waiting to see smiling faces without a mask. We have been waiting for businesses to re-open. We have been waiting to visit family and friends. We have been waiting for the ability to travel. We are waiting for our turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We are waiting for this global pandemic to be over so we can “get back to normal.” And so, we wait.
“Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.” We are waiting, God. It has been an incredibly long wait, but we are still here in the waiting room, waiting for answers to our prayers. How long do we have to wait?
Waiting does not have to be passive, being eager for one moment to pass, yearning for the desired moment to arrive. In Lent, we are given the opportunity to reflect on our relationship with Jesus, trying to understand this gap between an ancient story and our world today. While God is ultimately a mystery and beyond all our definitions, God is also personal. As with any personal relationship, deep connections do not occur overnight.
May this Lenten season reveal to you the living God, and may you find God no matter how long the wait.