Wasting Time Waiting
We are people who don’t like to wait. We race to the subway turnstiles so we don’t get caught behind others. We breeze through crosswalks even when the glowing red hand is telling us to stop. We honk our horn at the car ahead of us the second the light turns green. We charge up the left side of an escalator because we don’t want to standstill. We’re always in motion so that we don’t waste time waiting.
I wonder what we miss because we don’t give ourselves permission to waste time. Have you ever noticed that when you take a day to waste time and do nothing productive, it has a rejuvenating effect? Or have you noticed that most creative ideas come during wasted time? They don’t come to mind when we’ve overloaded our schedules. They seem to randomly surface when we have the freedom to let our mind roam. Or have you had the experience of going on a vacation with the sole intent to relax but return with a commitment to reprioritize your life? (Whether you actually follow through is another topic!)
In truth, wasting time can be a waste. That’s why in the Bible it is called “waiting.” In Isaiah it says, “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (40:31). Wasting time can simply be a gap in being productive. But when we “wait for the Lord,” we are creating the space and time for God to breathe new life into us. Wasting time can be a form of procrastination. But waiting is a way to prepare for what comes next.
While it’s true that God works through our actions, God also works while we’re waiting. Maybe it’s time to “wait for the Lord,” for it is in our waiting that we create the space to think differently, see differently and live differently.