Banish Those Waiting Blues
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV)
I was travelling home by train one day after dark. There was nothing to see out of the window and I was too tired to read. I kept looking at my watch, wondering how much longer it would be before I reached my station. Most of the other people on the train were either playing with their mobiles, listening to something through earphones, or were sleeping. But just past the seat in front of me were two mums with two young children and two large red and blue balloons. They were talking and laughing and playing games – the entire time. I never saw either mum look at a watch, nor did either of the children ask how long before they got home. That little group seemed to have the best idea to make sure that, whatever we are waiting for, it doesn’t become a chore.
Seven books in the New Testament talk of our waiting for the re-appearing of Christ. Paul told the Romans that not only does the creation wait in eager expectation but it cries out for that time, and we ourselves groan inwardly as we wait (Romans 8:19-23), like our psalmist’s agonised longing in the scripture above.
Between now and then is time: from wrist watches to clock towers to Big Ben to atomic clocks we can measure it down to the last itsy-bitsy bit of a portion of a second. But to us time actually doesn’t always seem to bend submissively to our rigorous measurements; it’s a slippery customer that plays tricks on us. Einstein declared that time was relative. But we’ve known how relative it is even without a genius like him telling us. When we are busy enjoying ourselves we say how time flies. The older we get the faster it goes too. But when we are waiting for something or in pain or just plain bored, time drags. It’s our perception of time that changes.
Jesus told his disciples the parable of the ruler who gave his servants ten talents and told them to ‘occupy till I come’ (Luke 19:12-13 KJV). Paul wrote to the Colossians to make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:5); to the Ephesians he said make every minute count (Ephesians 5:16 CEV). And surely nothing makes the time fly by more than being occupied talking and sharing with our brothers and sisters, with or without balloons.
Father, empower us with your love so that we may be busy, caring and sharing with each other, making the most of life whatever our circumstances.
Study by Hilary Buck
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
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