This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is on the word wait.
I asked Him to give me a story…something I hadn’t thought of for years and He delivered.
I remembered a summer just before my senior year of high school and how glorious it was to be able to drive all over to do whatever I wanted. I spent a lot of time running my mom’s tires down to the repair shop to be fixed. I don’t remember why those stinkin’ things kept having issues, but it seemed like every time I’d go out to take the car somewhere there would be a flat tire.
I’d stop what I was doing, put the spare on and throw the bum tire in the trunk to take it to get it fixed. I didn’t mind the chore at all, but I was such an introvert that I didn’t want to spend time chatting up the mechanic at the shop.
I look back on that time and feel slightly sorry for myself as I tried to avoid community. How easy it was to just be polite, but essentially turn my back on someone who could’ve used an uplifting conversation. I had plenty of people in my life I felt comfortable around. Why did I need any more?
Over the last couple of years God finally taught me a lesson. He showed my stubborn heart how important it is to look around when I’m in the waiting season instead of retreating to a favorite hiding place. He taught me to take notice of who’s around me. Shake hands and exchange more than just simple pleasantries, but stories of struggle and faith and redemption.
The waiting room has shaped me. Has it shaped you?
“If you wait a minute I’ll fix your tire right up so you don’t have to drive back down here when it’s done.”
I nodded my head at that familiar gentleman with the pleasant smile, wearing the bib overalls with stains all down the front. He recognized me because I was here quite often.
I was polite, yet just wanted to retreat back into my own space without a word. So I compromised and sat on the front stoop of the old auto repair shop, waiting for that tire to be fixed.
I could’ve chatted with him. I could’ve done something during the wait. Made him feel encouraged. Brightened up his long day in that shop all by himself.
But I made sure to keep my distance.
I didn’t want to wait. Waiting meant wasting my time.
I think back on that time, nearly 20 years ago. Such a bubbly personality but inclined to keep hidden from the world so I wouldn’t have to become acquainted with it.
I liked consistency. I liked a routine with no surprises and certainly no change…
You think you can hide the traits you don’t want anyone to see. But He sees them. He knew that during the wait I’d be forced to come out of my shell. His plan might not have unfolded all the way, but He made sure that as I lingered I spent my time becoming comfortable in my own skin.
Forming new relationships. Learning to talk about my faith. Sitting myself right down in the middle of community…with women I didn’t know.
He knew what to do in the waiting. I used to think the waiting room was a place I could ponder. Reflect. It gave me a chance to stop what I was doing as I sat in those uncomfy chairs, drinking the too-strong-coffee…staring at my watch to see how long I’d been there.
And how much longer I’d remain.
But the room wasn’t designed for that. Others wait in this room, too. It was designed for us to get up and be social. Share a story or two and compare notes about life. Where we’re going and where we’ve been.
Waiting is useful. He showed me this. He showed me just how much can be accomplished in a season of “soon…but not yets.” Just when I thought I was stagnant…with no growth – He showed me that I’m stretched in the waiting. Shaped in the waiting. I am never supposed to be complacent and take cover somewhere to wait out the process.
I’ve learned a lot in the waiting – about myself. About others.
It slowed me down… Made me share. Made me…wait.
Won’t you join me this week for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung’s page? We’d love to see you there! Just familiarize yourself with this page first, no editing, and set your watch for five minutes.