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We all have to do it from time to time in our lives.  When we are waiting for something exciting and beautiful to happen we describe it as anticipation.  Somehow that sounds positive.  We long for this “thing” to happen.  We anticipate the holidays, visitors, getting asked on a date, for a marriage proposal or for the birth of a child.

We say things like, “the anticipation is killing me,”  but what we really mean is that we are ready to burst with excitement!

Then there is waiting.  Waiting often has a negative connotation.  Dread often lies in the fabric of this pause.  We wait for the bus, for a delivery, for a test grade or news from a loved one.  Waiting is a two-sided demon that can change the course of our day, week or even our year.

We can be waiting for a dishwasher to be delivered between 8am and 2pm and it shockingly shows up at 8:05am!  Suddenly, we have an entire day laid out before us that we weren’t expecting.  We scramble to make plans with the extra time we’ve been given like it’s a gift not to be squandered. Then there are the times we wait all day only to have the delivery man call at 2pm to say he is running late.  Our day is ruined and we are annoyed by the inconvenience even though we knew this was a possibility. It’s interesting how such a small thing can make a difference in our attitude.

Sometimes it can be as simple as a phone call that we anxiously wait for and we listen to the voice on the other side trying to glean how our day is about to land. Will it be good news?  Bad news?  More waiting?

I have been thinking a lot about this word lately.  I have used adjectives such as painful, brutal, ridiculous and long to describe this waiting, but what I really mean is that I am impatiently anxious and grumpy about the process.   While the time can feel long and filled with uncertainty it also can carry a lot of positives.  It’s amazing how changing our perspective; just turning something on its side can change our entire view.

I remember reading something about waiting when my girls were babies.  It was a story about getting stuck in a long line and how  not to become impatient and frustrated.  What this person said was to take that time to breathe and reflect because perhaps God has put you on pause for a reason.  Maybe by waiting in line you have avoided something or perhaps it has put you in the perfect place at the perfect time.

I have thought about this advice more often than I can count over the years.  On occasion I have smiled at the timing of the hour that followed as I have seen cars alongside the road, met unexpected friends and missed calls due to that pause.

More recently I have seen this space give me time to breathe, to let me catch up with my circumstances.  Waiting, it seems, when tilted just slightly and in the right light gives us all that extra time to do whatever we need to do; pray, breathe, find perspective, be grateful.  This pause can make all the difference as you move forward.  It can change anxiety into quiet meditation, impatience into deep breathing, and fear into acceptance.

So, the next time you find yourself waiting rather than anticipating, take a deep breath, tilt your head if you must, and see what might be hiding in the deepest crevice of that pause.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

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