How can we find God’s grace while waiting? I have considered this question before here. Today, I have one of those experiences that are both a blessing and bane at the same time. I am waiting for one of my sons while he has an event. It is an hour from our home, so we rode together. I will kill 4 hours. We will, then, ride home. All is good.
What will I do for 4 hours?
I walked to a store. I intentionally found a store two miles away from where I was waiting. I walked there. The road was busy and not terribly conducive to pedestrian traffic, but it was worth it. By walking to the store, I put myself in a situation in which I had to walk back. Would I have walked four miles anyway? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, walking is a life-giving exercise.
While I walked, I prayed. I prayed for people who I know need my prayers. But, I also prayed for people who may or may not need them. I prayed for drivers. I smiled and waved at people who stopped to let me cross streets. By walking instead of running or doing something else, I gave myself the space to be able to pray.
Always carry a book. I learned this lesson long ago. I spent the first hour reading. My car was warm from the passive solar heating from the sunny day. Busy days and interruptions often seem to conspire against reading. Having some forced time to wait provides an opportunity to read.
Phone a Friend
Connecting with people blesses me. When I have to wait for something, I often phone a friend. These accidental reconnections kindle relationships that could fade with time, distance, and busy lives. One of the miracles of the twenty-first century is unlimited connectivity.
After walking, praying, and reading, I felt like a doughnut. A nearby Dunkin’ Doughnuts completed my respite. No longer was it a forced wait. It was a grace-filled afternoon.
Why did I call these experiences both a blessing and bane? When my children grow up, I will miss this. I will miss the time we spend driving places together, the experiences we share, and being needed. But, I cannot deny that there are other ways I could have spent today. Still, I am thankful for this experience.