The Room With The Blue Slippers

To Wait
to not do something until something else happens

This definition in the Webster’s online dictionary made me smile.   The dictionary is usually not so vague, but in this case, it fits perfectly.

The truth is, waiting involves entering into the realm of the vague, the unknown and territory beyond our control.

A couple of years ago my husband and I spent several hours in the hospital waiting room.  I named it "the room with the blue slippers."  Sounds romantic, doesn't it?
It is the place where patients with blue slippers wait for the physician to take them in for their procedures.  On this particular day, they were running about an hour or so behind schedule so we remained in the cramped room with all of the other waiting blue slippers.

After they took my husband in I sat reading and watching repeat newsreels on the television screen above as I waited for another couple of hours.  Finally, my magic number popped up on the hospital information board so I eagerly headed to the nurse's desk.
I was anxious to see Ken so I followed the nurse down a maze of hallways.  At the end of the maze instead of delivering me to my husband, I realized they had simply transferred me to yet another waiting room!  

Life is full of waiting.  It can’t be avoided. 

Waiting can be for a joyous occasion or a momentary inconvenience as we line up at the gas pumps when the price of oil drops.  However, in other seasons waiting can be tormenting where the end appears to be nowhere in sight as life hangs in the balance.

Waiting is the spiritual discipline that most of us want to avoid.

As I spent that day in the "room with the blue slippers" I realized I still have a long way to go when it comes to embracing the discipline of waiting.

This spiritual practice has been especially difficult when I am waiting for God to act on behalf of those I love who are hurting, grieving or struggling with illness.  

I also acknowledge that patience and trust have not been my forte when it pertains to waiting for the fulfillment of the desires of the heart.  Rather than resting fully in the hope of Christ -  I gravitate toward the false belief that my life is on hold.

Have you ever felt like you were waiting for the answer to prayer or circumstances to change in order to begin to enjoy life?

If we are not careful waiting can deceive us into thinking we are stuck, that things will never change and there is no way out.  This can lead us quickly down a path void of hope and straight into the pit of resentment.

Advent is one of those precious seasons of waiting and anticipation where the outcome is life-changing.  We wait with anticipation for the birth of Jesus our Saviour. We wait for Emmanuel to come and dwell among us.

Henri Nouwen, a beloved priest, and writer might just disagree with Webster’s definition.  He advocates that waiting is not a passive season, but rather quite the opposite...
“A waiting person is a patient person. The word “patience” means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere. The moment is empty.  But, patient people dare to stay where they are.  Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there.  Waiting, then, is not passive.  It involves nurturing the moment."

What if the next time we find ourselves in the midst of a blue slipper season of waiting, we ...

let go of the fear and the need to remain in control,

turn toward God,

dare to stay right where we are

and enjoy life while we wait?

Advent whispers to you and me...

Hope is on the way

 Jesus is coming.

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.

 Habakkuk 2:3-4


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