We’re still in Hawaii but we’ll come home this week. We have another trip at the end of the month, so all the plans have me thinking my husband’s description of traveling: Hurry up and wait.
Years ago I learned about the idea of choosing a word for the year instead of a resolution. It was popular in the online writing community and I have been doing it for awhile now. My word for 2021 was “wait,” so I have spent some time contemplating it.
I was actually glad to have it because everyone was so “over” 2020 and expecting the calendar page-turn to instantly change everything. The word kept me from unrealistic expectations because I knew it wasn’t the end. 2021 was one of the toughest years I’ve lived, so it was beneficial to go into it with the reminder that it wasn’t the end.
The space between expectation and reality is disappointment.
That’s a paraphrase from a quote my prayer partner says, she sometimes holds her hands up to demonstrate how great the space. A few weeks ago our pastor talked about persevering and waiting. He mentioned that in our culture we can fast track relationships. With an app you can skip the slow build and declare your expected outcome immediately. I’ve always thought of our culture as wanting instant gratification because of our demand for “fast” food, but I had never thought of it in terms of relationships.
It made me think about the season my husband and I spent getting to know each other before we were married. And how little we actually knew each other, even with all the time.
But God intends for us to wait for things because the best things take time to build. I think it also has something to do with his knowledge that people who are able to delay gratification are happier. That’s probably old news for you. I write it because it’s one of those things I tell my kids, but don’t always apply to myself.
The thing is, sometimes when I get what I want right away, it doesn’t mean much because I forget that it was previously an unmet desire. The things you spend time longing for are sweeter.
The interesting thing I realized recently, is that God is waiting. He waits, longing to give compassion.
And Christ waits, too, for the end of the story.
So if you’re waiting, you’re in good company. And if it isn’t too painful, I’d love to hear what you wait for.