The Best Kind of Waiting

A few years ago, a friend took her family of four to Disney as a surprise. How cool is that? I’d be all over it. Her older daughter, while grateful and happy, never wanted that surprise again. She told her mom that waiting for the trip, imagining all the things she was going to do and talking about it with her friends was part of the fun for her. The waiting even sparked memories of previous trips that made the prospect of returning to Disney richer and more vibrant. This young lady wanted to savor the whole experience, including the waiting.

My default position is like Inigo Montoya: “I hate waiting.” I take measures to distract myself anytime I know I’ll have to wait: yarn, reading, phone apps. But there are other types of waiting that make the reward even sweeter. Birthday presents, new albums from Mumford and Sons, planning a trip. Remember waiting for the final Harry Potter book? Savoring.

The best kind of waiting allows us to engage our longings, explore the wonders of the payoff, and settle into gratitude. Waiting is an affirmation. It says, “Yes, I want that. Yes, I’m willing to endure to get it.”

During Advent, we wait. We join with the great cloud of witnesses that waited on the Lord for the rescue of His people, of His world.

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