Feb 19, 2010

Waiting and Waiting

A great deal of life is simply waiting around for one event or another. In some churches all the talk is about waiting for the Lord’s return. Of course, if one were in the first century, as were those who read Mark’s Gospel, waiting for the final curtain of history to drop was part and parcel of what it meant to believe in Christ. Yet, Luke takes a longer view of the God’s timetable because Luke recognized that God’s time and our timetables may differ somewhat.

We bear in mind that Psalm 90:4 relates about God’s time: “For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past or like a watch in the night.” Other people too have a perspective on waiting. For example, the late George Carlin, comedian (d. 2008) once quipped: “Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” Regardless of what we think about waiting, we all do it.

To be faithful to our task as Christians is to encourage one another in the faith while we wait for the Lord’s return—whenever it may come. My friend Rod Wilmoth: from an unpublished sermon tells us a story about people’s worth and how they spend their time—in the meantime:

There is a story of a king who wanted to honor the greatest subjects in his kingdom. He sent out his advisors, and they found 4 persons to be so honored. The day came for the presentation of the awards. The first man to be honored was a man of great wealth. He was honored because he had used his wealth to benefit so many worthy causes in the kingdom. The second man was a physician. He was honored for his assistance to so many who were ill and dying over the years. The third honoree was a judge. She had acted wisely and carefully in many cases which came before the courts of the land.

The fourth person to be honored stepped forward. She was an elderly woman, bent with age, wearing very plain clothing. “Why are we honoring this woman?” the king asked in some confusion.

Came the reply: “Your majesty, this woman was the teacher of the other three.

The way we spend our waiting time may matter a great deal to God—perhaps?

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