The Beauty and Agony of Waiting

StillWaitingThe word "wait", according to the dictionary, is a verb…it is an action word for essentially personal inaction.  Not that being in a state of inaction means doing nothing…a person in waiting is a person choosing to be in-action..about the discipline of something that is difficult for even the most mature among us…being still, available, looking forward in eagerness but not impatience.

Some of the most difficult moments in life come in times of waiting…I have to admit, waiting is not something at which I excel…I excel at being a patient person but only because I really desire to be liked as a person and the virtue of patience is primarily other-centered.

But waiting is intensely personal…it has to do with trust…with calm longing…with anxiety in the heart that you attempt to keep under someone Else's control. The bible says to:

"wait in expectation" Psalm 5

"wait in hope" Psalm 36

"wait patiently for the Lord" Psalm 37

"wait for the Lord and he will deliver you" Proverbs 20:22

There are over 140 references to the word, "wait" in the bible…ending with the phrase, "wait a little longer", written in the book of Revelation.

I wish I was a spiritually fit as I know I am called to be when it comes to the discipline of waiting.  I've waited for many things in life…thinking I was doing better with the passage of time.  But now in this season of waiting, I find that I am as impatient as ever.  It is as CS Lewis writes in Mere Christianity…"fine feelings, new insights…these are all meaningless unless one's faith actually makes one's life better".  I must admit…I've had a plethora of new insights over the past years…and I've had some good, deep, religious feelings that have kept me connected with God.  Even so, this time of waiting is surfacing within me a shallowness that surprises me and a intense desire from deep within my soul to trust. 

I am going to choose today to wait and to wait "well".  Being a faithful "wait-er" does not seem to me as something that happens miraculously as it is something that is an act of volition…something that one trains oneself to do.  So, again…I'm enrolling in the Grad School section of a course on waiting.  I pray that I will learn today and rest in tomorrow the ability to faithfully wait.

3 thoughts on “The Beauty and Agony of Waiting

  1. “calm longing”– I like that. I’ll be praying for you Rob. I really admire your wisdom to see this time of waiting as a time to exercise your “patience muscles.” Also, thanks for the suggestion about Eugene Peterson’s book– Tiff and I are really enjoying it! miss you, friend!


  2. Professor Dugall,
    Thanks for writing this post. I think of you from time to time and my time at APU. I’m glad that you were my professor and that I just missed the giant Foundations class boat. I have had to wait a lot recently, waiting for responses to job applications, waiting to hear back about grad school monies, waiting for wisdom on decisions… and it’s all very sad and hard to deal with. So I understand what you are saying in your most recent post and this one. Also, I have some other questions that I wanted to ask you about, so keep an eye out for an email I’m going to send. I’ve heard that gmail accounts have had trouble sending to APU accounts, so watch your spam too, just in case it gets tucked into there.

    Ariel Climer


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