One of my pet peeves is standing behind someone in line at the grocery store (or Target or some other store) who is unprepared to pay when they make it to the register. How many times have I seen someone wait til they get to the front of the line to whip out their checkbook (it seems they invariably have to write out a check, never pay with cash or a quick swipe of the debit/credit card!), hunt for a pen, and take precious minutes to write out a check. My modus operandi in the checkout line is to get out of there as quickly as possible, so I don’t understand the logic of those who come into the line acting like they’re surprised that they actually have to pay.
(Quick aside–have I mentioned before that I’m not the most patient person on the planet? Yeah, I thought so.)
Despite my impatience with people in the grocery store line, I don’t always notice that I am likewise slow to act when the time comes. I think that I often associate waiting with inactivity, or unproductivity. Truly though, when God leads me through periods of waiting, I am not to remain inactive but rather to see that waiting period as a time of preparation for the next season of life. Much like the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom, my lamp is to be trimmed and I am to be prepared for whenever God is ready to move me to another point in my life.
Several weeks ago I bought a new car. I went to the dealer on a Saturday, ready to test drive but not really expecting to buy. Of course, when I left on Saturday I’d fallen in love with a car and had started the paperwork process to buy said car, which I did on the following Monday.
Before you think that I made a huge impulse buy, let me assure you that that was not the case. I’d spent long months prior to that researching various cars on line, figuring and refiguring monthly payments, and reading reviews from consumers, so that by the time I came in to test drive, I was confident that that particular car would be a wise choice for myself. Because I’d spent time in preparation, when the time was right I was ready to take action and buy.
As I go through various seasons of waiting on God, I’m trying to prepare myself. I believe that God has called me to be a wife and mother someday, and now I’m asking myself, In the meantime, what skills am I learning and fostering in order to prepare myself for marriage and motherhood? There are other goals that I have–mission work, writing, speaking, teaching. How am I preparing myself for that?
Waiting is not meant to be inactive. I am certainly not supposed to move ahead of God, but while I remain under the protection of His timing and ways, I am to wait with anticipation of the next step, and to prepare accordingly.