What’s the difference between waiting and waiting patiently?

Relax - put trust into play

Relax – put trust into play

I waited patiently for the Lord. Psalm 40

Is there a difference between waiting and waiting patiently? Yes.

I wait for the bus to arrive. I am not patient: I look down the road for its arrival, or I check the bus schedule app on my phone, or I look at my watch only to see less than a minute has gone by since I last looked at my watch. Time passes – maybe I should say time drags, torturing me. Ten minutes seems an eternity. Consumed with what is missing – the bus; aware of my inconveniences, I’m late, It’s cold, I’m bored. Agitation and irritation rule my experience.

This is waiting without patience.

Waiting patiently doesn’t mean the bus will arrive any sooner, the same ten minutes pass; but what is different is my relationship with the passing time and the focus of my attention. My attention is not on what is lacking, but on what is present. I remember the bus is coming, it will be here when it gets here. I cannot change it’s arrival time. It has come every day around this time, it will come again today. So I might as well relax. The passing time reminds me I am not in control of my life (as much as I would like to believe I am!)

When I relax I am putting trust into play. There must be a better way to use these ten minutes than pacing and cursing and being frustrated.

I have a lot to say about waiting check out this for more thoughts and watch for more posts about the subject.  You’ll be glad you did.


Are you a Molly or an Ellie?

Are you a Molly or an Ellie?

“I waited patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 40

Twice a day Jack or I prepare meals for Molly and Ellie. The ritual begins with the announcement “Who wants food?” which elicits different responses from the two dogs. Molly’s style of waiting is loud and unignorable; she barks and jumps and demands. Her cries do not make the food arrive any quicker, they only irritate me. Ellie’s waiting is quieter and more patient; she sits on the rug with her cute little pug head cocking to the left and to the right, awaiting the promised arrival of her meal.

Two different pictures of waiting, one demanding, the other patiently trusting. (I can’t believe Ellie is the positive picture in this analogy!) To wait patiently suggests an assurance that a hoped for outcome will be realized.

The dogs know their food will be provided. Their life’s regular supply of food has taught them that today will be like yesterday: food will appear as promised. Demanding doesn’t make it come any faster, it only gets Molly worked up and makes life miserable for those around her.

Are you a Molly? Do you get anxious around the subject of God’s promises being realized? Do you pace and fret, bark and make a lot of noise about it?

Or are you an Ellie? Do you come to the kitchen, and keep your eyes fixed on one who is in the process of preparing your meal? Do you trust God will keep God’s promises? Do you look to the Lord, knowing God is currently active satisfying your need?