Monday, November 5, 2012

Treasures of Wait

We embark, she and I, on this journey planned months ago; now suddenly
revealed as perfect in timing. How is it that a spur-of-the moment
idea, an uncanny seasonal ticket sale, and a haphazard, crazed
schedule culminate in this gift?

The first flight ascends seamless, descends perfect; and we wait for
our second plane, enjoying the several hours allotted to us. We walk,
we muse, we get smoothies. And we look for our flight information,
noticeably absent from the board. Changed gates lead us wandering
around our terminal appendage, just relaxing.

The second pilot is sick, the gate attendant announces, and the
soonest replacement sits five hours away, so we must wait. We wander
back to food courts and eat an overpriced dinner. Conversation spills
out in the gifted stillness of this prolonged moment.
We explore our
souls; we speak life; we catch vision for the week ahead of us at the
International House of Prayer.

We read and wander, and enjoy each other, thanking God for the
unlimited text plans purchased on the way to the border. We are not
alone, and it is good.

Delayed again, this time without reason, and we stand around with
tired passengers. But we are happy; this trip is in Another's hands.
And it is for us to enjoy.

Cancelled, nearly six hours after the originally slated departure
time. People rush mad to service counters, only to wait long and
pensive for the rearrangements. We chat together: about rental cars,
chartered buses, and the business we travel for. Hours pass in this
way, looking for the shortest line, watching people sit and wait and
 talk And what more can we do? Our fate is not our own.

Batteries run low, so we charge phones, as one by one friends and
family quiet into the silence of slumber. "That was going to be our
joy," I muse. "Jesus is our Joy," she replies; and I see that in the
silence our delight can only come from the One Who gives us breath,
not from the breath of another person.

Last ones in line (still don't know how that happened), a little women
takes us to kiosk and looks up flights, geographic and calendar radius
varies as she explores the eroded options. She lends us her phone, and
we can talk to our waiting ride. All we can do in this moment is wait,
and praise. Worry melted long ago . . . I can't know just why, except
that we settle in the love and reality of the One Who charted this
course for us, the only One Who can get us through.
And sometimes, the
journey doesn't take you anywhere. You wait, and sit, and grow on the
inside, so you will have strength to walk the next leg.

Supervisors come to check progress. He finds a flight for the next
morning. He upgrades us to first class and puts us on it. I scream and
dance for joy, not caring that I look ridiculous. We give the
attendants chocolate, and carry our familiar bags to the curb, to wait
for the hotel shuttle bus.

We stand in the cold, make small talk, muse happy for the bed and
shower and breakfast waiting for us. We watch bus after van pull along
the curb, but none of them belong to our hotel. We wander along the
road, stopping by a bench where a pair of glasses sit forgotten,
intertwined in the rails. And how often, in the wait, do we lose
How often do we forget that there is good for us, because
God is good?

How often do we live a lie, as though we are victims and
demi-gods and the world must revolve around us?
Finally, we call,
grateful for the travelling American who uses her minutes for us. We
must wait again: 45 minutes till another shuttle comes.

We go inside to thaw and wait. I try to journal, but thoughts jumble
incoherent, so I just rest. And the shuttle comes. And we drive warm
and safe to our hotel. And we shower and sleep four hours and have
breakfast. We drive back early, proceed to the front of the line as
first class passengers, and wait.

Another delay. We go for coffee, spend our vouchers on gifts for
friends, and sit with the Word, our true meal. We are happy, even if
we can't know why. Eventually, we sit at the gate, we board the plane,
we gate check our bags. We settle, and smile, and everything seems
more wonderful than we could have imagined. Because we waited for it.

And sometimes, God lets us wait for Him, so that we can know He is
good, and we can enjoy Him more . . . in the journey, collecting the
treasures of wait.

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