Waiting . . . .
My doctor usually has me do my blood labs a week or two before my regular appointment. That has become rather routine for me. But once in a while, when something doesn’t seem quite right, he’ll order labs and tell me that he should have the results in a day or so – or at least “preliminary” results. This happened to me the day before I started at St. Luke’s. He thought I might have Lyme disease (I don’t). That “24-48 hours” waiting time can become excruciating. No matter how benign the outcome may or may not be, that kind of waiting can only be experienced with a great deal of anxiety hovering about the edges. Two days in, I am told that prelims are negative. Five days later, the final verdict is that his suspicions were wrong. Relief – for a moment – but then what is making me tired and achey? More waiting.
As I have grown older I have become more familiar with waiting. Not waiting in the way that one can’t wait to turn 16 and get a driver’s license; but the kind where it seems time moves at an ever quickening pace, faster than we want, life still opening, filled with hope and experience, all precious and cherished, but flying by.
It occurs to me that our living is filled with times of waiting. One of the secrets of life in such times is to live fully into whatever time we have with whatever is going on within and around us. While I wait, whether it is at a stop light, a six mile backup on I-81, or in a doctor’s office, I consciously open my mind, senses and imagination to the to the holy, to the place of peace in being that I know as prayer.
That’s kind of where we, at St. Luke’s, are now. We are in a time of waiting – waiting to see who God will call to be our next pastor, teacher, leader. Like other kinds of waiting, it does not give us license simply to sit back and put everything on hold. Instead, it gives us an opportunity to live fully into this time we have with one another as we carry on the work of the Gospel. It is a time to open our minds, our senses, and our imaginations to the holy at work among us – to a time of prayer and growth in patience as we wait to see what marvelous thing God is doing.
There is no doubt that this time brings anxiety – no matter what we tell ourselves, it can’t but be true. It’s the natural course of things. What we do with all that anxiety, however, will make all the difference. When we experience the normal feelings of fear and worry that are part of any serious waiting, let God transform them into the eagerness and anticipation that will bring us all to a new day.
May a spirit of hope and encouragement flow into the very center of your self that place so deep within, where you simply -- are.
In the loving heart of Christ, I remain,