I REALLY dislike waiting. And I think we wait way too much in our society. Of course that’s from my perspective. Where does my impatience come from? Partly it’s because we have become accustomed to getting instant service, drive through restaurants with “fast” food, a 1.7 second response time from Google searches and ever increasing internet download speeds. I still remember those crazy sounds when we used to connect to the internet through a phone line and we hoped we would connect at more than 14Kb/second so that we could download a 25 word email in under half an hour.
I have a few suggestions for those times when we have to wait. It could be in the doctor’s office, in line at the Tim Horton’s drive through, at the mall, at home waiting for dinner, for the movie to start, in the car waiting for a family member or friend. It really doesn’t matter where, here are a few suggestions for “those” times.
- Read – I don’t do this enough, yet I see lots of people reading books, magazines, or something on a tablet. Occasionally I remember to take a woodworking magazine or book when I go out shopping with Elaine or the girls. Usually I find one of those benches for dads/husbands and watch the people go by. Reading would be a better investment of my time. Download a Bible app and read that or your emails that have piled up for a while.
- Catch up on Facebook or Twitter – I do a lot of this one. I don’t have a lot of spare time in my work day, so this is good for waiting times. It can also be done while in the washroom. Just saying.
- Engage – with the people around you – This one will mess with the people around you, especially in big cities where no one talks to each other. It doesn’t really matter what you talk about. The weather is easiest, but hopefully you can find something deeper, more meaningful. Of course, it means being vulnerable and taking a risk.
- Write – I start blog ideas as I get them or a line for a letter I’ve been thinking about or a camp program idea. Get a program like Evernote that syncs with your smart phone and your computer. Write an encouragement note or email or text to a friend, your child, a friend, a parent or shut-in. Let someone know you’re thinking and praying for them.
- Pray – I wish I thought of doing this one more. It would be a good discipline to get into. Pray for the people in your life, at work, home and friends. Pray for our country’s leaders, they certainly need it. Pray for your pastor, church and the staff. Pray for your kids! Pray for people’s health, families, direction, wisdom, etc.
- Plan – what better time than when you’re stuck waiting to think about the future and lay down some plans or ideas. Make notes (paper or digital) or send yourself an email with the details.
- Stare at the clock on the wall – I don’t really mean this one, but if you are just truly bored, I suppose you can count the seconds go by.
- A nap is also an option, but you just might miss the appointment you’re waiting for.
With all these ideas, you would think I wouldn’t mind waiting so much. Maybe next time that will be true.
What are you waiting for? How could you best use the time you have been given while you wait?