Waiting Graciously

Phyllis Inspiration 30 Comments

For those of you who know me, you know I hate to wait. Now I can hear you saying, “Everyone has to wait,” and this is very true; but I like to keep moving! I found myself watching the microwave tick down and thought, “Please hurry up”—a microwave that cooks in record time wasn’t going fast enough. Really? Now that’s when I need a gut check on waiting.

Mom used to say, “A watched pot never boils,” and at the time, I knew she was trying to teach me patience. Things take time and usually more time than I want them to.

We have become an instant gratification society, haven’t we? Things are so fast it makes our heads spin, but it has become the new norm. Waiting is a lost art form. We just don’t like to wait in lines, on the phone, in traffic, or in the kitchen when something fabulous is cooking. Probably because we can’t control those minutes, they just must tick down on the clock—slowly.

Now if it’s something I really love doing, time flies. I don’t notice time going slow if I have a friend in the car while we are waiting on a red light. Or waiting on food in a restaurant when we are with friends or family.

I have decided to really focus on waiting graciously, knowing I will fail often, but I am still going to try very hard. Sitting still in a doctor’s office or restaurant until my appointed time has come is something I will consciously try to master without getting antsy.

Was I always like this? Or have I developed this unhealthy skill of impatience as I have aged? Who knows…maybe it was watching the Jetsons cartoon as a child that started it.

Are you a calm person when you wait?

Comments 30

  1. I can totally appreciate this honest post! I once had a realization on this subject that changed my life. Here it is: all time is a gift, and for God Who gave us time, there is no such thing as “dead” time, such as waiting in line, walking into a building, waiting in the doctor’s office, etc. We are the ones who consider that “wasted” time, so I figured that all that in-between time is actually just as blessed as when I am engaged in something “worthwhile”. So I figured out that I can use that time for “tasks of the heart”. Saying a prayer for a sick friend, remembering a beautiful moment in life, thinking of beautiful music, reflecting on a loved one who has passed away. That “wasted” time becomes meaningful.

  2. I have found that following God’s metronome for life – slow and steady –
    and setting that beat, particularly during waiting times, has paced me well.
    Start off the day praying to Him to “order my days in Your peace, O lord”
    and see how it works… and as our friend, Minnie Pearl, used to say, “And
    always remember to be kind.”

  3. I learned a long time ago NOT to pray for patience! When I did the Lord always sent me situations where I HAD to! Lab results would get lost, paperwork would get lost, flights cancelled, even one time a German Shep. puppy I was waiting for to be born was 2 wks. late!! I now keep a small book of poems in my purse to read while waiting in line. If I go to any Dr. or lab or x-ray, I take the book I am presently reading. Definitely helps.

  4. I’ve been blessed with a redhead. Right from the get-go she has been the living cliche of parental testing and button-pushing.
    At about 5 months, I decided to do something about it. I prayed. I asked for patience. Bam! Gift received. Even now, 45 years later, I get very kind comments about how patient and unruffled I am. Praise God.

  5. Long ago, someone told me that the key to patience is finding something to do while you wait. Sometimes that’s helpful. The hardest wait I’ve ever been through was when my husband and I were awaiting arrivals of our children whom we were adopting. Neither my husband nor I could stay calm but when those kids arrived, we definitely knew they were worth the wait! In fact, those children were ( and still are) a gift for the hardest but best wait ever!!

    1. How wonderful. I was in the hospital in labor 6 weeks before my twins were born and your post reminded of that…..patience results is fabulous blessings.

  6. Recently I waited for 40 minutes at a paint store along with several other customers. The employees worked as quick as they could. I pulled my tablet out with my library of books downloaded and selected one of Alexandra Stoddard’s. The 40 minutes flew by. I was relaxed and happy while everyone around me was frustrated and unhappy. Finally another customer told me she is going to follow my example next time.

  7. I have times when I am a gracious waiter, like Rita, and talk to my fellow “waiters” to pass the time and learn more about them. There are some things I don’t like waiting for when I’m alone, but I have started talking to God during those times. And as always, that really helps! : )

    I think as a society, we have all lost the art of slow, and waiting, and it will surely do all of us a lot of good to learn a little of that art of gracious waiting again. xo Lidy

  8. “Walk gently through this day.” I remember reading that once, and I am constantly having to remind myself to do just that. I walk through my days, but not always gently. Gently speaking, gently doing a chore, gently listening to someone, and – yes – gently waiting sometimes!
    I love how you are so honest. You don’t pretend to be perfect, or to have it all together all the time. We can look up to someone like you and just not imagine that you would ever have a contrary thought! It’s refreshing to know we all struggle with these things, and all of us need to remind ourselves to consciously “walk gently through this day!”

  9. I love to read so anytime I have to wait I’m a happy lady!! When I first moved to NC and was going in for a doctor visit, about the 5th visit in he came into the room and said, “You’re always reading!! What are you reading now?” I have many books on my iPad so I can finish a book and just keep on reading. If I don’t have a book or I’ve forgotten my phone, then I’m a basket case. Lol! Yes, I am impatient! But like one of the ladies said, at a stop light or traffic issue, then looking around, praying, etc, works like a charm.

    1. I totally agree with reading a magazine or book while we wait at a doctor’s office or elsewhere. It is one of the few times we can really enjoy reading and not have to think about what we should be doing if we were home.

  10. What cool comments, if we all waited patiently just think how much better the world would be.,….and all the interesting people we would get to know.

  11. That’s a trait I am having to learn. Since I’m sure God knows I hate waiting, I’ve stared reminding myself that He is in control of everything and there is a lesson I’m suppose to learn or someone I’m suppose to speak a kind word to, or someone to pray for. Also I learned I can exercise while waiting at the stop light by holding my stomach in while waiting. It works I’ve noticed! Isometrics Is what they call that

  12. You have such a full life dear Phyllis, I can understand why waiting is difficult, I’m with you, although I do appreciate all of the comments and suggestions. One very special event I am patiently waiting for us your beautiful Celebrate event in Birmingham, I guess you could say I can’t wait!!!

    1. I am so glad you are coming. I am just figgity with excitement!!!! It is going to be fabulous and the speakers are sensational. You will adore it. and we get to meet face to face!!

  13. I too do not mind waiting. I learned when I had little ones to always carry some little thing in my purse to help keep them entertained….a pad and pencil, a “fidget” toy, small book etc.
    As an adult I like to catch up on making my “to do lists”, thoughts for letters I need to write, or even praying for loved ones, our country etc. I look at it as a much needed rest time!

  14. I used to be annoyed at waiting in traffic until I decided to take this time as an opportunity to daydream or observe my surroundings. These moments in time are like little gifts. As for doctor’s offices, restaurants, etc., electronic devices have helped to pass the time. I once worked for a man that always stressed that everything is just your point of view. Over the years as I have changed the way I view things, I see that he was correct.

  15. I don’t mind waiting at all unless there is a time constraint to be somewhere else. I’m retired now and can do this.
    I must say that waiting too long for a Dr. Appointment is different.
    A watched pot never boils is so true.
    People need to slow down and stop looking at their phones and just enjoy people watching and the world around them. Interact with the people around you.

  16. I really do not like to wait…especially if I’m at a coffee shop or restaurant and my friends are running late and still don’t! But I used to really get stressed out waiting in a line or in a traffic jam until a visit to Ellis Island changed all that.Reading about all the people who waited in long lines there, some times for days after their already arduous journeys to an unknown land( some died waiting in those lines). I now think about all those poor individuals and families as soon as I start to grumble about my wait in a line at a nice grocery store , in a movie theatre, behind a slow walker in the park, or even stuck in my comfortable car on the highway. And if my husband starts to complain , I always say to him, “remember Ellis Island”.

  17. I love to wait. Especially in line. At the registry of motor vehicles, at the supermarket or in line at a coffee shop for tea. I love watching my fellow waiters. I even talk with some of them. I love waiting at the doctors office. I talk with one person and all of a sudden everyone is joining in the conversation. At one particular doctors office everyone had waited so long we started laughing at little things that we would not generally laugh at. Kiddingly we started talking about ordering a pizza. One young woman said she had cookies in her car and ran out to the parking lot to get them. When she came back her “cookies” turned out to be a little plastic bag of animal crackers. One man shouted “you call these cookies.” That is when the doctor came out and asked if everyone was okay.

  18. I use my time waiting to catch up on my thoughts. If I’m in a doctor’s office, I read a magazine or a book I’ve brought. At red lights, I listen to the radio and let my brain rest.
    When I took allergy shots and had to wait 30 minutes after the shot, I brought crochet to work on. We all have so many tasks that we need to do and I like to use my time waiting to rest.

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