Friday, December 02, 2011

Waiting as a way of life

(From Miriam Pugh)

Life in our village in the mountains of northern Tanzania is all about waiting. Most fundamentally, we wait for our visitors to sit in silence before we greet lest they should feel rushed and unwelcome in our houses. We wait for the food to be prepared and eaten together before we can take our leave in a house we visit. We wait for the rains before we can plough; we wait for the donkeys to complete their trek up the mountain before we can drink. We wait for the groom before the weddings can start, we wait for the village before meetings begin. We wait and begin to learn the discipling of just sitting, just being with people. Asla'am, asla'am naemamit - slowly does it, and you will achieve much.

Why wait?

In instant societies where a meal can be conveniently prepared in three minutes, and an entire weeks shop ordered on line in ten or fifteen, waiting is an inconvenience. Making someone else wait is the height of rudeness and shows real lack of consideration. Time is money.

But what if...what if waiting had a value in and of itself? What if learning to wait allowed a still peace to settle on your soul? What if waiting helped you develop ears to listen to the world around you? What if you had to wait so long on a regular basis that you found beyond the cultural pain threshhold of waiting, a suprisingly good thing was waiting for you?

Isaiah tells us that those who wait on God will renew their strength. Waiting on God brings us strength and expresses our dependence on him. Waiting on God can fill us with peace-that-passes-understanding as we know the one we are waiting on is completely faithful. Waiting on God means that we cannot and do not have to be the solution to all our problems. Waiting on God takes the focus away from busy tasks and towards the Giver of all life and love and truth.

Let us wait for Christ, our Messiah with a thirsty soul and a humble heart, knowing that He is the answer and we are not. Let us be ready to wait for a long time... and in the waiting find the peace that passes all our understanding.

No comments: