By: Ivonne Hernandez
We spend a large part of our lives waiting: waiting in traffic, waiting in line, waiting for other people, waiting for an illness to run its course. This it is not something we usually look forward to, but rather something to be avoided (by careful planning), or managed, by doing something productive or entertaining while we wait. We have so much “on our plates”, that we try to “carve time” from whenever we can find it. We don’t have time left to just sit around and wait, yet somehow, it seems as if life usually has a different plan. Or should I say, God has a different plan?
As I type these words, I find myself sitting in my car, waiting for my son to be done with a class. I knew I would have to wait for an hour, so I brought my laptop and planned to use the time to write my blog. Waiting was easy and the time flew by. This morning, however, I had to deal with an unexpected delay. I had to spend over an hour waiting for my turn at a medical office. I was able to wait patiently because I did not have anything scheduled right after, but had that not been the case, I am sure that it would have been much more difficult to accept the present circumstances. I find that my patience is inversely proportionate to how much my plans are affected by the wait. It is when I have to give up my plan and accept God’s plan for me that the feelings of anger and frustration bubble up inside, but it is precisely this moment of decision that is the moment of grace.
We don’t have a choice on whether we are sick or not, or on whether there is traffic or not, but we do have a choice on how we respond to the situation at hand. Rather than seeing the delay as a time thief, we can choose to see the time of waiting as a gift from God. This morning in the waiting room, rather than taking my phone out and filling my time with mindless entertainment, I decided to raise my eyes and look around. I started to randomly pray for people as they walked by, thinking that God placed me there for that purpose today. My entire perspective changed, and I received a gift in turn. God was there waiting with me and waiting for me. Had I just ran in and out of my appointment as I originally planned, I would have missed it. God had a better plan that the one I had.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. It is a time of expectant waiting. A time to pause, to ponder, and to prepare. Let us empty some of the plans on our plates and leave room for what God wants to place there instead…Himself.