Monday, May 1, 2017

Lessons in the Car

Waiting is hard. Why? What's the big deal?

I was going to meet a friend this morning, either at her doctor's office or at a restaurant, depending on where she was after I completed my other obligations. The plan was that she'd text me and let me know when her appointment was complete. If it went quickly, we'd celebrate at breakfast. If it was long, I'd be a friendly face waiting for her when she got out. So at 7:33, I'm in the school parking lot, wondering which way I should go as I exit. Do I head south towards her doctor's office? Do I go north in the direction of possible breakfast joints? Do I go westward home and wait for word? Do I pull over, stay put for a minute or two, until I hear from my friend? "Aghh, I don't want to sit still and wait. I'll go towards the doctor's office," I tell myself. "I haven't heard from her, so that's probably where she still is." And of course, at 7:35, just barely into my journey south, but no way to turn around; I'm committed. I get a text from her, let's go north to breakfast. It all worked out fine, of course. But she did have to wait 10 minutes or so for me, and the whole point of meeting her in the first place was to provide moral support for this kind of anxious appointment, and now I've just added annoyance to her day. And I put myself in a position where I was looking at my phone while driving.

What is it that makes sitting still and waiting so hard? If I'd waited two minutes, I would have saved gas, been safer, and shown up on time! Yes, I am overthinking this particular situation, but there is a lesson here. "I feel a blog post coming on," I told myself in the car. I haven't written anything on here for four years. There's probably a lesson there, too, but meh. I can relate to David and his Psalms, because he too, had a tendency to overthink.

Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (Psalms 27:11-14 NLT)

I wanted to be in motion this morning. Being on the move, even if it's in the wrong direction, somehow feels better or more productive than waiting. What a lie! I fell for it. The "enemy" in this case was in my own head. The wise choice this morning would have been to wait. Hold still. I notice that when I do wait, I'm not very patient about it. I fuss and complain, I worry and wring my hands. There are good things available to me when I wait. Not the least of which is clarity about the best way to go when the time is right for going. God has things to show me, and if I'm always in motion--my whole car or just my mouth--I will miss out.