by Todd Foley
I hate waiting.
I’m writing this in an airport terminal. My wife and I heeded to the arrive-two-hours-before-departure tradition anticipating freeway traffic or long security lines to see we’re the only guests in the building.
Hence, the waiting.
After 30 minutes of reading our books, we saw the security doors open. We walked up to the desk, put our possessions in plastic bins, passed through the scanner, collected our stuff and then found seats in the waiting area…
…where we waited for another hour.
Waiting in line to wait in another line.
I sat and watched the other passengers walk through security and scout out seats in which to pass the time.
Then it hit me: Today is the first day of Lent, and I didn’t even realize it.
Usually I put intentional thought into what I should give up, never really excited about losing something I enjoy. One year I gave up chips. I made it to day 28. That Dorito’s bag didn’t know what hit it.
I honestly struggle with thinking of things to give up because I so often put the focus on myself rather on Christ’s time in the desert. To counter this trend, many people will take on something positive instead.
This year, I choose to take on patience.
I’ll choose to be patient when I can’t find what I’m looking for.
When that other car cuts me off.
When the person in front of me at the grocery store checkout can’t find the right credit card.
When the car won’t start.
When the office coffee pot is empty.
When the waiter gets my order wrong.
When the bank account nears depletion.
When I can’t construct a decent sentence.
When I’m unable to articulate my thoughts.
When I can’t summon a single thought.
When a friend won’t reciprocate an apology.
When I fail.
When hope seems off in the distance.
When my prayers go unanswered.
When God feels absent.
When the news is filled with stories of a hurting world.
When I find myself longing for my heavenly home.
When I’m lost.
But isn’t that what Lent is all about – patiently waiting for our promised hope?
Easter Sunday means nothing without Good Friday – arguably the bleakest moment in human history. I struggle to imagine how long those three days felt to Jesus’ followers. But they believed He would come back again.
So they waited.
And what a glorious third day that was when the waiting finally ended.
In all things, I’ll battle myself to take on patience and look to the future with eager hope.
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:20-21