What are your thoughts on waiting?
Waiting in line at the grocery store.
Waiting on the slow tractor clogging up country roads.
Waiting on your next paycheck.
Waiting for two little lines to appear to say you’re pregnant.
Waiting for the lottery to call your number.
Waiting for your dream job to appear.
Waiting, waiting and more waiting. Sometimes it seems this whole life is about waiting for something else to be found.
I really dislike waiting. I have a feeling you can relate.
My 5-year-old, Grace doesn’t like it either. Last summer at the Nebraska State Fair, our family of four waited in line for nearly 15 minutes to ride a “cool” water slide contraption. This ride slowly climbs to the top and then plummets into a pool of water below. It makes my stomach flip just thinking about it. We stood in line next to kids with sticky cotton candy fingers and wet shoes; kids with sweaty hands and eager eyes, all waiting (some, not patiently) for their turn to take the plunge.
When we finally made our way to the top, we learned that Grace just missed the height requirement to ride. She was so close, missing the mark by less than one half inch. I gave my best mom guilt look to the ride conductor, but he wouldn’t budge. We turned around and walked back down through the long line of sticky children.
Grace sobbed and asked me why? I told her she wasn’t old enough. She had to wait and that next year she would be able to ride.
My heart hurt. What my heart felt and my mouth said were two different things. I wanted to tell her it was ridiculous that she couldn’t ride. I wanted to tell the ride conductor that he was wrong, that my girl was so close, and that he should make an exception for her happiness. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. My girl would just have to wait.
Waiting is hard, even for mom.
Last weekend, the wait was over. We went back to the fair and found that ride. This time, her sweet little head passed the “must be this tall to ride” line. She was thrilled. Mom was too. Our ride slowly climbed its way to the top and fell into a pool of water below. There was screams and giggles and lots of water soaking mom and dad. According to our 5-year-old the ride was, “awesome!”
Of course it was. Most things worth waiting for are.
It’s funny how patience brings us more understanding. We don’t often know at the time why we have to wait and it can be incredibly frustrating. But when the answer is revealed, it’s made clear. Sometimes we wait because we aren’t old enough or tall enough or mature enough to handle the ride. Sometimes we wait for understanding, or humility or patience. And other times we wait because it’s simply not our turn.
But when our time finally arrives, if we’re lucky, the outcome is most always worth waiting for.