How many times have you been on hold? Sometimes it is a silent hold and you begin to wonder, did they disconnect me? Or you may be lucky enough to hear MUZAK for your listening pleasure. When (or if) they come back on the line, your eyelids have closed and you are about to let out a gentle snore. But, have you noticed if the hold music just happens to be a song you like, it seems as if not much time has passed at all?
In this ASAP culture any amount of waiting seems to be too long. How many times have you zigzagged your mouse around thinking it would load your page faster? I have done it at least twice today. There was a comedian that did a joke about the pop tarts box. The directions, of course were to put them in a toaster. Yet, under that listed microwave directions. The big joke was who doesn’t have time to wait for a toaster? Then again, some mornings waiting the last few minutes for the coffee to finish brewing seems like an eternity.
When I think about it, in writing a manuscript, the main character(s) spends a lot of time waiting to get to their goal. Obviously you can’t have them achieve it in the first chapter. You must develop obstacles that the main character stumbles over along the way. Their struggles move the story along-at least you hope it does.
Sometimes the inpatient waiting takes place even before you can get to writing. You come up with this fantastic plot. You have some inkling of your beginning, some middle scenes and a possible ending (or two). You just wish your writing fairy could zig zag your mouse and it would be finished. But that doesn’t happen. Alas, there is no writing fairy (who knew?) and you have to go through the ups and downs of the writing process. Once you have finally completed your draft, you still must edit, edit, edit, ad infinitum….
As hard as the waiting involved in my writing process may be, waiting for a sign of hope in my own life is so much harder. Right now things are not the way I wish they could be for a loved one. I can see that there is an ending, but I can’t just jump to the end. I so badly want to be on the other side of this episode, but I know (especially because it has happened before) speed bumps loom around the corner and they will be painful. Only time can bring about a result and I have no way of knowing if it will help this person or not.
When I am having a pain flare up, I know that even though the pain will not completely disappear, eventually it will be a little less severe. I would love to just skip over this flare up and say ‘been there, done that’. Unfortunately, zig zagging a mouse over my leg and hands do not work (hey, it doesn’t hurt to try right?).
These flare ups can come on due to changes in barometric pressure or for no reason at all. But sometimes my flare ups come on because of the pressure I put on myself during times of exceptional stress. Because of that, I have not taken the time to let my body rest. So the flare up forces me to stop. While stuck in bed and having my mini pity party, it seems like my prayers have not been heard (the silent hold). But then I may receive a phone call from a close friend. Or a wonderful friend stops by with a chocolate shake (my nerves may be in pain, but my taste buds aren’t)! At that point I realize God heard my prayer after all. He sent me these loved ones.
Sometimes the wait will bring about an outcome that is completely opposite from what I had envisioned. Sometimes the wait will come at the most inopportune time. But,sometimes during the wait there are gifts of grace and of friendship. And that is not a time you would want to zig zag your mouse over to get though it ASAP.
Have you had a time of waiting that gave you more than you expected?
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