Have you ever felt the nagging frustration of waiting for something that seems to elude you? You thought by now you’d have what you wanted, be where you wanted to be or received that long overdue promise. With each passing day, you feel like the clock is ticking away and that once thriving, hopeful burst of energy and anticipation has now been replaced with hopelessness, sarcasm, frustration and fear of the what ifs and why? You may not say it out loud for fear that putting it into spoken words will somehow be the confirmation that all is lost and it will never happen? Yet within you lingers that nagging fear and growing anxiety and you can’t seem to shake it off.
Perhaps it’s time for a change of perspective. If you think about it, waiting is a part of our daily lives which most of the time we take no notice of. Classic examples include waiting for the bus or train, waiting to get that morning jump-start called caffeine, or waiting for that email from your work colleague so you can get on with it. Whatever it may be, there is always some element of waiting embedded in everyday living. Now depending on the side of the bed you wake up that morning, you may choose to meet that waiting game with patience and calm, or with impatience, anger, frustration or resentment. But ultimately, you make a choice consciously or subconsciously every time that you’re presented with a waiting decision. For example, you can choose to queue for that coffee patiently or you can choose to walk away, either way each one is choice.
In the same way, the significant events in our lives that keep us in a waiting season always presents us with choices. We can choose to remain hopeful or we can choose to give up in defeat and throw in the towel. There are no hard or fast rules and no lasting shortcuts, only choices and decisions to be made. Between the fulfillment of what we’re waiting for and us lies two secret weapons we must take on if we’re to come out winners on the other side of waiting and that is:
Faith is believing that it will happen and patience endurance is the conscious presence of mind to keep waiting and going on each day regardless of the circumstances in front of you. Notice that it is not just a matter of having patience but patiently enduring. One wouldn’t have to endure a thing if it was easy. Therefore the word endurance suggests going through difficulty. Most times this is where it gets really difficult. Let’s say you’ve convinced yourself that you believe that what you’re waiting for will happen, but then as you begin the process of waiting the stark reality presents a whole new challenge before you that begins to test your patience in what you’ve believed for. To illustrate this point, bear with me while I use the coffee queue analogy. You’ve decided that you want a cup of coffee, then you make your way to the café in eager anticipation of sipping that hot, creamy, roasted caramel cappuccino you’ve been dreaming about. But as you walk into the café, you see a long line of people who are waiting for their morning cuppa. The line is so long, it’s right at the entrance of the café and you barely have space to make your way in. Your heart sinks. Suddenly there’s more than 6 degrees of separation between you and your coffee, it is now more like 20 grumpy souls of separation! Now the battle begins, a decision needs to be made. Do you wait your turn patiently or do you walk away and decide to try the next café further along the way and in a different direction from your destination? Or worse still, you hang your head dejectedly and walk away without any coffee?
Truth is the coffee queuing decision is about as simple as it gets. The journey of life presents far more challenging scenarios we have to navigate. The point is, the process of waiting will present obstacles and challenges that will test our endurance, belief and stretch our patience to its elastic limit.
Ultimately, those who come out successful will have to go through the pain of stretching, hardship and waiting. What you do with that time of waiting will determine how you will finish. Those who run in a race run with the intention of finishing what they started successfully. They do not entertain the thought of quitting while running otherwise there would be no point of running in the first place. If we knew that patient endurance was a sure guarantee of success, how would that change the way we perceive the unfulfilled promises and wants we’re waiting for? I dare say we would find the strength to keep going each day against all odds.
So my question is, will you patiently endure the queue for your coffee?