Posted tagged ‘waiting’

Things to Do while You Wait

December 11, 2017

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

WAIT! …So, how did you do?  Generally speaking, our society performs poorly when it comes to waiting.  During the summers of my college days, most of the correspondence with my girlfriend (the lady I eventually married!) was by written letter; addressed, stamped, and mailed via USPS.  By the time it reached her two or three days later, any news it contained was past news!

The amazing development of electronic mail made it possible to for people communicate more quickly.  Then along came cell phones and text messaging, and e-mail became the new snail mail!  If we do not receive a response to our text within a couple of minutes, we become antsy.  We do not like to wait!

Nevertheless, we are forced do it several times everyday.  Shopping lines, traffic lights, health facilities, restaurants, medical test results, television commercials that interrupt our favorite shows…as much time as we spend waiting, one would think we might be better at it than we are.

In fact, it has been estimated that the average person spends seven years of life waiting!  Can you imagine that?  So, what do you do while you wait?

Many people go to their trusty, handy cell phone.  In a doctor’s office waiting room this morning I noticed that more than one half of those waiting for their name to be called were using their electronic devices.  Were they playing games, sending messages, or maybe searching the internet?

I often take something with me to read, but today I decided to leaf through a magazine that was provided by the doctor’s office.  I have never really looked closely at a People’s Magazine, so this was an opportunity to do so.  After several pages I realized that I was already familiar with most of the information I was seeing.  I glanced back at the cover and saw the date:  December 4, 2007!

And most of us have waited patiently (or not!) at a green traffic light for the person in front of us to look up and see that the red light had changed. It causes me to wonder if the field of chiropractic will become much more lucrative and in demand in the near future because of how much time we spend looking down or hunched over peering into that small handheld screen.

The Christmas season – Advent – is a time of anticipation, of expectant waiting for the coming of Christ.  It is a time to prepare for the spiritual side of the vastly celebrated holiday.  It is a time that we seek to draw closer to Jesus and invite Him to draw nearer to us.

At the birth of Jesus that first Christmas, the religious world had been waiting for 800 years from the time it was prophesied that Messiah would come.  We can understand, then, why Magi would travel nearly 1,000 miles to worship the newborn King, shepherds would leave their posts, and angels would joyfully declare, “Glory to God in the highest…peace to all people.”  The waiting was over.

God still comes to His creation.  No, not as a baby; but He chooses to be involved in the lives of humankind.  Those who seek Him find that He comes every day to make Himself known, to extend His mercy and grace, and to express His love.

This is Advent.  What will you do while you wait?  Certainly you will do some shopping and gift wrapping and eating – but will you take time to truly seek the God of our salvation?  Will you endeavor to make room for Him in the busyness of the season?  Will you notice it when He comes to you?

Where’s the Fire?

May 23, 2014

JUST THINKING:  In 1899 Jacob German of New York City became the first driver to be arrested for speeding.  The posted speed limit was 12 miles per hour.  He was really in a hurry!!!  On one of my recent trips I was cruising along at 70mph enjoying some quiet time with the Lord and the beautiful scenery of His world when, seemingly out from nowhere, a vehicle swooshed by me headed to a fire (I presumed…”where’s the fire?).  It happened too quickly for me to see the driver, but I can tell you that he was in one of those little “Smart” cars that appeared to have his tires about 2 feet off the pavement!  He had to be doing 85 or 90!


     Anyway, Jacob began a long list of men and women who would be cited for excessive speed in a vehicle.  In fact, there is a strong chance that the majority of our readers today are on that list!  Yes, I confess that I am one of them 😦    Whatever it is in us that wants to go faster, farther, quicker, is what makes it so very difficult to “wait on the Lord” and to “be still” and know Him as God of all the heavens and earth.


     Back in Jacob’s day people sat on their front porch on Sunday afternoons and many evenings to simply relax and unwind.  Oh that we could find an hour to just stop – no cell phone, no hurrying here or there – just a slow quiet, waiting with the Lord.

Are You a Good Waiter?

December 7, 2012

I remember my childhood Decembers seeming exceptionally long as I awaited that exciting morning when we would gather around the Christmas tree to open presents.  The slow progression of the preparation for that day can be difficult for a young child. Gradually, the number of gifts beneath the tree would grow, and then during the night before Christmas, the number of presents seemed to double overnight! The waiting was really difficult, but well worth it!

Recently I spent almost an entire 5 minutes searching internet sites (our favorite fool-proof resource) to discover that the average person spends approximately 5 years of life waiting.  That number includes 6 months waiting at traffic lights, but the article said nothing of waiting on the phone for an available customer service representative from my internet provider.

For something we seem to practice often, some of us are not very good at it.  However, we must endure periods of waiting: for our food order, to see a doctor, standing in line for a purchase, auto repair, and so on.  There are some people who plan ahead in order to use those moments productively, so that the waiting is filled with activity and helps to pass the time.  Some restaurants help the cause by providing complimentary peanuts, chips, bread sticks, coloring sheets, or golf tee puzzles.  I aim to be one of those conscientious persons who use time wisely, but sometimes my body and mind simply need that down time.  There are times we just need to stop.

Of course, the Christmas season brings with it a busy schedule and a to-do-list that only Santa could fill.  Shopping, parties, school programs, church programs, community events, visiting friends, decorating the house, wrapping gifts, baking goodies – the website mentioned earlier claims that we spend 6 years of life eating!

Come December 26, many people are glad it is over, along with the hustling and bustling that takes its toll on our bodies and emotions.  In this light, it is interesting that the Christian term, Advent, literally means “coming,”  and that the four Sundays leading to Christmas day are a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

In this sense, the waiting becomes productive only as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.  Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, what are you doing to make room for Jesus?  More important than any gift I could give or receive is the spiritual preparation for receiving Christ in His fullness, and allowing Him to be the Pilot of my life, rather than simply one of the many travelers on the plane. Yes, Jesus is coming, and if you are ready, He will come to you in a fresh and unique way this Christmas, and the waiting will be worth it!