You might remember Carole King’s song Anticipation. I used to play it over and over. Anticipation can be a good thing. As a child I was not one to go looking for my presents at Christmas time, though some of my siblings did. I liked the anticipation and the surprise on Christmas morning. Waiting was definitely worth it.
But it seems that we as a society have lost the art of waiting. Recently ABC Nightly News had a piece called Impatient Nation. You can watch it here, after a short ad.
I remember reading a long time ago in one of Luis Palau’s books about waiting and how we had become an instant society – instant potatoes, instant pudding, etc. When the microwave arrived we became even more impatient as getting food cooked was even faster. As time went on we became accustomed to getting things quicker. We now no longer have to take our photos somewhere to get them developed. We do them digitally and get them right away.
But with all instant gratification I think we have lost some of the benefits of waiting. Think of the number of young people who no longer wait for marriage and lose so much along the way. Or couples who have gotten in over their head in debt because they needed it right a way and couldn’t wait til they had saved enough money.
Waiting can build character. It helps our children see that what is important is worth working for and waiting for. My father built our house and it did not happen overnight. He and my mom had saved up money, talked about what they wanted. Mom made the plans. Dad lined up family members to help him. He called on other men in the industry who could help him with tasks. I remember us going up the lane to see the progress, and even this 5-year-old would sometime have jobs to do. It took time, money and lots of effort to build that home. I am glad my family was willing to sacrifice. The wait was well worth it.
We need to teach our young ones the value of waiting. Of setting a goal, and working to meet that goal. Waiting when sometimes it is discouraging, or when we are tempted to take short cuts or give in. Waiting is worth it. Isaiah 40: 31 states that “they 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.”
I love this quote from John Trapp, a 17th century Bible commentator. I first became aware of his pithy quotations from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, who often quoted him. Because of that I got John Trapp’s Commentary of the New Testament so I could read more of his works. May this quotation encourage you in your waiting.
Waiting is nothing else but hope and trust lengthened. John Trapp