I am currently reading a wonderful book on the topic of, you guessed it, waiting. The book is called, “When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions” by Sue Monk Kidd.  Waiting is so antithetical to what our culture espouses.  Our expectations that things happen immediately can create distress within ourselves, our relationships, and our connection with God. We are so easily triggered into believing that because something is not happening in our timing, that God is withholding from us.  We may even assume that we need to be doing more or performing better for God in order to get what it is we are praying for at that time. We have been conditioned to believe that something is WRONG if we have to wait, when the very nature of that belief is abusive in and of itself. This belief robs us from seeing any beauty that could be before us in our current circumstances.

In this book, there is a line where the author makes a reference to us viewing God like a midwife rather than a rescuer.  Meaning, what if along the painful parts of our journey, God is there, solely focused on helping us birth what our heart truly desires. It’s not pleasant. It’s unpredictable. Each time that we cry out and push through what feels like pain or discomfort that will last forever, God is gently and patiently guiding us through what God knows will result in a beautiful and new aspect of our life.   

Next time you are waiting at a traffic light or assessing how quickly the grocery store line is moving, use that as an opportunity to check-in with yourself. What are you thinking? How are you feeling about the idea of not being able to move quickly so that you save time so that you can move more quickly through other tasks. When you notice what is going on within you, ask God to meet you in that experience. Ask God to show you what you may ordinarily miss because you are in a rush.  And for those situations that feel a lot more serious than a traffic light or grocery store line, ask God to help you accept that waiting is a natural experience. In that acceptance, our capacity to wait and be present to what is will only grow.

Ashley Buffington