We want it. And we want it now! We have instant access to just about everything these days. We get our movie tickets electronically so we don’t have to wait in line. We have our checks direct deposited into our bank accounts so we don’t have to delay spending them. We hear a song we like on the radio and instantly download it onto our smartphones so we don’t have to wait to buy it at the store. Technological advances teach us to loathe waiting, so we don’t know how to wait well.
1. Welcome the opportunity.
Sitting in traffic on the highway or at the airport with a delayed flight? Instead of getting frustrated, turn off the tunes or put down your phone and use the time to think about the important things in life, like how to better serve your spouse or what you should be doing to help your child grow. Rather than fuming and fussing when you have a long wait, take that time to pray for your family. [Tweet This]Learning to use your wait times wisely is part of learning how to wait well.
Rather than fuming and fussing when you have a long wait, take that time to pray for your family.
2. Ask “Why don’t I want to wait?”
Sometimes we don’t want to wait for legitimate reasons. For example, we had a 9 a.m. doctor’s appointment and we’re still in the waiting room at 10 a.m. Sometimes we’re just impatient with things that happen in everyday living—waiting in line, waiting for a taxi, or waiting for food. And sometimes our schedules are so packed, and without margin for error, that if we have to wait a bit longer for anything, we’ll miss what’s next on the calendar. So what can we do? Of course, many of us can strive to be more patient and enjoy life. We can also make it a point to establish more margin or white space on our calendars.
3. Initiate relational interactions.
Standing in line? Strike up a conversation with a stranger, or better yet, if a loved one is in line with you, talk to him or her. It’s rare that we are in a situation waiting alone. Take advantage of the time you have. You may be the only person who speaks to the elderly woman in front of you today. Just a friendly hello and a smile could make a world of difference.
4. Take stock of your blessings.
While you’re on hold for 20 minutes waiting for technical assistance, write a note to your spouse and let him or her know how much you love him or her and what a blessing he or she is to you. Text your children and let them know what amazing gifts they are.
What advice would you give to someone who has a hard time figuring out how to wait patiently? Share in a comment.