Waiting Is so Hard!   7 comments

If your life is working out reasonably well, I am happy for you.  It is not my experience, though I daily put my heart and will into doing my best.  I feel like a dog chained to a post and told to fetch.  Most of my life I thought the whole exercise was about figuring out how to get loose so as to fetch.  That’s what smart, resourceful dogs would do.  I tried various strategies–twist to loosen the chain or pole, pull to break the chain.  I was apparently doing it all wrong, because I was a failure at fetching.  I saw other dogs retrieving all sorts of things for their master.  They had various schemes for getting free of their chain, but none of those worked for me.  I don’t have a life verse, but Kimberly one day laughed at spotting my life meme: “Well, that didn’t &#%! go as planned.”

Finally I decided that I had misunderstood my master’s intentions, and he just wanted me to sit and wait.  But what should I do while waiting?  If I were eventually going to be let loose to fetch, perhaps I should practice the skills needed… except those skills were only relevant for a retriever, and maybe that was not my purpose after all.  I was waiting for something.  What?  Was I supposed to simply learn to be good at waiting?  What does that even mean?  Patience and trust, I suppose.

Okay, so that is what my attitude should be, but what do I DO while practicing that attitude?  Is there a better way to sit or lie?  Inside the doghouse or out?  Do I keep my eyes closed or look at something… at what?  I was sure there were better and worse ways to wait.  Slowly anxiety overtook my patience–I need to be a better waiter!!  Apparently the one thing I do really poorly is wait.  And I am so legalistic I can even turn doing nothing into a standard to meet.

But look at all those other dogs doing their thing!  Dogs have legs to jump and run and mouths to grab and hold… they weren’t designed to just sit.  Are these joys of life the rewards for getting good marks in waiting?  Or is waiting well its own reward?  It doesn’t feel rewarding.  It feels like being forgotten, or worse still being rejected, like I’m not good enough to fetch.  As you can see, I still have a long way to go in learning trust and patience. Doing nothing is really hard!



Posted July 2, 2016 by janathangrace in thoughts

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7 responses to “Waiting Is so Hard!

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  1. bro — maybe it’s not about chasing down the sticks and fetching them — what if your master is right at the pole that you’re tethered to, and the best thing you could do is to meet him there? i don’t know, but i think you’re onto something, and that maybe you’re right where you should be? what if god is in all of this and he’s really pleased with where you’re at (not necessarily with your frustration, but with who you are)

    • Yes, that is the hope. Unfortunately, our feelings often do not track with our beliefs. We can trust that the bridge won’t break, trust enough to keep walking across, but our hearts may be in our mouths. I think sadness and fear are more my feelings than frustration, and I think God is totally okay with all of my feelings. Self-doubt is both a necessary foundation for spiritual growth and a danger to it. It is a dialectic dynamic over which I constantly struggle.

  2. Somehow we are taught that “being” or “doing” something is an indicator of who you are! Our identities are what drives us: “be someone”, “do something” IMPORTANT, if you don’t, your life has no meaning! Society and even the church teaches us this the moment our little legs hit the ground…running! God on the other hand wants us to “REST”! It is not OUR work, but HIS! I really wonder how much of what is done in the name of Christ is really done by Him! If it is SELF doing the work then it is worthless, right? In our “brokenness” we can rest and trust Him to work for HIS GLORY, not OURS! God sees what is done in SECRET and HE ALONE knows who and what is bringing Honor to Him. Have you thought about the fact that maybe God will use your “feeling worthless” for His eternal good? I think He can and will! Unfortunately, it was instilled in you to “PRODUCE”! The key is what is driving the producer? God or self?! He, in the end, will judge all things and I think we will be surprised and shocked, but, then, it will no longer really matter! Remember the old cliche’ “Bloom where you’re planted”? I guess we all need to let go of what we think is best and trust Him to help us RIGHT WHERE WE ARE! Being humble is a good thing and I pray that God will use you right where you are. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and humble! I think maybe that quality might have been lacking a little in your family of producers! I am at the other end of the spectrum of “NON-PRODUCERS” pledged by fear and doubts. Welcome to my world! May the Lord have Mercy on us, right where we are!

    • Thanks for sharing about your own fear and doubts. I have always struggled with those as well. During my early adult years I papered over this fear with hard work, comparing myself to others, and certainty, but eventually the pressure became to great to maintain that self-deceiving facade and I awoke to my own fears, vulnerabilities, and doubts. I think we all stumble along the way, the whole way. May we be encouragements to one another to hang on through it all till we find that final place of peace.

  3. Yep

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