As We Move Forward: Waiting

WaitingAs people, waiting is not something that comes naturally to us. Anyone who has ever provided care for a newborn knows that they do not wait to let others know whatever they want or need. Waiting is clearly a learned activity. Some time in early childhood.

We gradually learn what it means to wait. As young children, most, if not all, of us remember the never ending waiting for Christmas. When we are in school, who of us does not remember waiting for summer and the accompanying end of school? Those times can seem interminable.

In the larger arena, children are always waiting until they are old enough, tall enough or something else out in the future, requiring the person to wait. Most of the time we wait for things we are eager for. While these times of waiting can seem to go forever, the outcome is something to be anticipated and looked forward to.

Some things we wait for do not have the same expectation of a good outcome. At the very least, some periods of waiting can lead to either a positive or negative experience for the person involved. Waiting for the results of medical tests can make waiting terrifying if there is reasonable chance the outcome might be negative.

Waiting is clearly a part of medicine. Hospitals and doctors’ offices all have waiting rooms. It is a given. We could devote a lot of time to consider what to do while we are doing all this waiting. It is time we will never get back. Are we doing something constructive with our waiting time, something that will improve the quality of our lives? In six months, one year, five years we will be that much older. What will we have done with the time? Will our lives and the lives of others be better because of the time we have spent waiting to get where we are?

WaitingAs we move forward, it might be helpful to look at what we have waited for during our lives and what we have accomplished with the time we have spent. Are there better uses we could have made of the time spent waiting? What are we waiting for now, and how can we make maximum use of that time? What is one small thing we can do with time spent waiting to make someone’s life better? What would it take to make us ready to take that one small step? Join me in making the best use of out time spent waiting.

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