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Sunday, May 29, 2016
The WaitPosted Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 10:14 PM
By Rayla Stewart Hogue
Special to the Daily Statesman
She sat on the couch knitting. With each stitch she breathed a prayer. Knitting . . . praying . . . pausing to look around . . . knitting . . . praying . . . pausing . . . and so the cycle continues. Waiting--is so difficult.
He paced the room. Wondering why it was taking so long . . . what could be happening . . . surely there should be some news. Pacing back and forth, walking, turning, walking, turning, and walking again. He watches the doors. He paces. He glances at the clock. Waiting--is so difficult.
The family filled the room. Resting in chairs, on couches, sitting on the floor and end tables, they filled the space of the waiting room. They talked and laughed--swapping stories while they waited. Every time the doors from the birthing rooms opened their conversations would stop as they looked expectantly. When it wasn't the one they waited for--they would start talking again quietly. Slowly the volume would increase until the next time the doors opened. Waiting--is so difficult.
She hated wearing those horrid gowns. They never fit . . . made you feel exposed to the world . . . left half of you exposed to the world . . . and were just uncomfortable. The cubicle was small . . . too small to pace . . . she picked up a magazine and flipped through it . . . put it down . . . picked it up . . . crossed her legs . . . uncrossed her legs . . . would the doctor ever come? Waiting--is so difficult.
He had saved his allowance for weeks. Finally he had enough money to buy it. He had wanted it forever--well it felt like forever. He found the catalogue, called, and ordered it over a week ago. When would the postman get there? Surely his package would be in the mail today. He had waited faithfully for the postman every day since he ordered it. It had been a week . . . today HAD to be the day. Waiting--is so difficult.
Waiting is one of the most difficult aspects of life. Whether it is waiting for good news, bad news, a celebration, a date, a package to arrive, or even at a stop light; waiting is hard. However waiting is often what we are asked to do.
We aren't alone when it comes to waiting. The Israelites had trouble when waiting for Moses: "When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, 'Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt--who knows what's happened to him?'" (Ex 32).
"I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love" (Galatians 5).
"But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind" (Is 40).
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth" (Psalm 46).
Okay, God. I'm waiting. It isn't easy, but I am waiting. Show me your ways. Help me to learn to still my anxious mind and hands--waiting for you to show me your way. So be it. Amen.
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.