Waiting for Christmas or birthdays, waiting for results, waiting every day for the train or bus. Waiting for someone else to hurry up and be finished what they’re doing!
Some people seem better at it than others. They look calm and relaxed, like they are happily perfecting the virtue of patience, while others fume at the traffic, the supermarket queue or the extra few seconds to load an internet page.
Some of these become petty when we consider those who have waited years for big things like love, freedom, justice.
Nelson Mandela emerged from 25 years in prison, a generous and forgiving statesman to lead South Africa in a new era. While it’s tempting in some circumstances to become jaundiced and cynical, fair play to those who hold on faithfully and keep believing that ‘good things come to those who wait’!
Theologian Henri Nouwen reminds us that the world is waiting (whether they realise it or not) for the glorious return of Christ. For Christians, this is not impatient inactivity but prayerful creativity, preparing a loving church fellowship, ready to welcome our Lord.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8 v 21: ‘the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.’ Therefore we can wait both ‘patiently’ and ‘eagerly’ for our public ‘adoption’ as God’s children.
I love the soul/gospel song ‘People Get Ready’, written by Curtis Mayfield and first recorded by The Impressions in 1965. (Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck did a nice cover of the song in 1985.) It reminds us that despite the current strife, displacement and sorrow in the world, our waiting will not be in vain. Our Lord will come and bring His people home. Better days are ahead. Like, definitely!
‘People get ready, there’s a train-a-coming,
Don’t need no baggage, you just get onboard.
All you need is faith to hear those diesels humming,
Don’t need no ticket, you just thank the Lord!’