The Waiting Game

Have you ever had to wait for something? Perhaps you’ve been waiting a little longer these past few years – wow – years of the global pandemic. Things have been at a standstill and we are “waiting” for things to grow, change, move forward… Everything seems to take longer. We voted today in Canada, and we were told the process would take longer as everyone kept their social distance, and polling stations were shuffled in order to control crowd sizes. Our little crew moved along quite quickly and we didn’t have too much trouble. But you get it, right? Line ups, cues, and the like, are a lesson in patience.

And then there is the unknown. Waiting for decisions to be made. Waiting for lab reports to run. Waiting for news to arrive. What will be the answer? How will that outcome change me? Will I be part of the change or simply part of the wait? Any expectant mama knows all about this waiting game. As the little one grows, we become totally attached… emotionally, physically and mentally. And then when the waiting is over… well that baby rocks your whole world. But first, you have to wait.

I’ve been waiting for something for a little while now. I know the timing is not right, but I’m still eagerly awaiting. I anticipate and plan and “prepare”… but I’m still stuck in the waiting stages. And to be honest, I hate it. I’m not one for quick decisions, but I do like to see progress once a decision is made. I like to see that there is some movement forward. I’d even take movement backward, as long as there is movement. I don’t like the “stuck” in the proverbial purgatory of neither here nor there. Perhaps I’m not a very patient person. I have some flaws… patience is a virtue. We’ve written about this before. It’s still a hang up of mine. If you care to find out the sweet truth about patience being a virtue, you can read about it here. Moving on…

Each one of us must be patient at some point. It’s just the way life is. We learn the coping skills at a very young age. Breathe, cry, scream, yell, throw things… fester and mumble and complain… leave guilt ridden hints about how slow other people are… I guess your reactions depend on the thing you are being patient about. I was going to say you “mature” in your waiting game… but realistically there are plenty of grown adults who behave a lot like impatient toddlers. Cue drama. Two years old, or twenty two… same drama. Or is it? I know some very patient people. Those even keeled, totally “zen” folks who rarely get their feathers ruffled by having to wait. Is it a skill? Is it the way we are wired? Lemme know if you have an answer to this one, because I struggle with the “wait”.

Our pastor touched on this waiting game on Sunday’s study of Acts 1. Jesus told the disciples to “wait” for the gift I am sending you (i.e. the Holy Spirit, see Acts 1:4). Perhaps many of the disciples were like me… and not so good at the waiting game. They had seen some radical things happen in the short period before these words, and I am sure they were “chomping at the bit” to see the early church’s movement gain momentum. But Jesus told them to wait. If they had chosen not to wait, then what power would they receive at the day of Pentecost? One definition of waiting I found was this:

noun: “the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens”

I like it because it indicates steps. I like steps. Wait until this, or this…then this. This helps me get through my waiting. I can do this and this until this. Then wait. Until this….

The waiting game is not an easy game to master. It’s a learned skill. It takes some guts. It takes self control and patience. For many of us, waiting is a struggle. They say good things come to those who wait. This was certainly the case in Acts 1. I’m hoping it will be for me at the end of my waiting game… and I trust that God gives you the patience to wait as well. Until next week, my friends! I’ll be waiting!!

RESCUED

Have you ever rescued something? A baby bird? A drowning person? A recyclable can from the trash? Seems like vastly different scenarios but I think a rescue is a rescue. Big or small, redemption is a worthy pursuit… even if it costs. I was musing about this as I was doing dishes the other day and looked at my little windowsill above the sink. On the ledge, in a tiny pot, is a rescued houseplant. I found it earlier this summer in a giant pot I am using outside for my tomatoes (which are not doing well this year and are also in need of rescuing). I recognized one tiny leaf as a houseplant — not a tomato shoot. It must have been abandoned as “all but lost”, buried in the dirt. Then, when the pot was hauled outside for tomato usage… well, I guess a little fresh air and sunshine revived it!

My little rescued houseplant in all its dirt and glory!

I plucked the little leaf and moved it back inside where it is flourishing once again! New leaves are unfurling and the little guy is quickly outgrowing its nursery. Rescued! Love it! I’m a big thrift-er and my basement is filled with projects that I want to “refinish” or “repurpose”. I’m always looking at Pinterest for new ideas. Currently the family is watching a variety of do-it-yourself shows and renovation programs — the kids are fed up with my dreams of renovating an old farmhouse or Victorian mansion one day. They laugh and point out the most rickety buildings on the street corners and say “Look! Mom would buy that house!” And I would.

Am I alone in this weird fascination with the old made new again? Obviously not if you look at HGTV’s play list. Is it a new millennial trend to reduce and reuse in this environmentally conscious generation, or have we just come full circle and are beginning to value what we have again? I don’t think they make stuff like they used to, but maybe Covid has convinced us that we don’t need to be the throw away society we once were. Perhaps now we think about what we truly need before we go running to the mall. Or buy local – even if it costs a little more because it’s handmade or made well. I’m still on this learning curve. So far, “rescued” is still my method of choice.

“But now thus says the Lord,

He who created you, O Jacob,

    He who formed you, O Israel:

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

    I have called you by name, you are mine.”

Isaiah 43:1 ESV

Isaiah’s words are a reminder to us that we, too, have been rescued and renewed. Christ paid a very significant price for us. And He is in the business of continuing to renew and remodel. Here at mittonmusings.com we chat a lot about being “on the journey”. Our redemption starts out a lot like my little plant… we seek fresh air and the “son”. Then, once He plucks us out of the old soil and gives us a new chance at life, we begin to unfurl, flourish and grow!

Does this mean we will be perfect? No. Does this mean we won’t have bumps and bruises along the way? No. Do we still need to be watered and tended carefully? Yes. Do we need to still seek the “son” and gain energy to prosper, grow and be used well? Yes. Often “renewed” or “rescued” items need a lot of care before they can reach their previous state of glory. I love those furniture “flips” where people take old pieces of furniture and deep clean the cushions or scrape off years of paint until the true, original beauty begins to show. Those old farmhouses need to be stripped down to the rafters before being built up again. And so it often is with us as well. Sometimes we need a period of deep cleaning — stripping away the old before anything new can shine. For people in the process, it is not pretty. Most of the time it is down right ugly. But that is the beauty of the restoration… and so much more in the hands of one who is passionate about the cause!

Photo by chrissie kremer on Unsplash

So, be encouraged friends! If you are in that time of renewal… be patient. The process takes time. If you are still seeking the fresh air, keep poking your little leaves out until you get plucked from the dirt! And if you have been rescued and renewed, be thankful and shine bright. Show off your flaws with courage and bravery as one redeemed. Rescued with passion and encouraged to grow and flourish on the other side!