“The Awful Alternatives to Waiting”

July 27, 2010

As I’ve said in several times in this mini-series on “waiting,” I immensely dislike having to wait.  But, when you think about it, are the alternatives to waiting any better?

What are the “alternatives to waiting,” you ask?  The only general categories I can think of are: 1) giving up; and 2) trying to force something to happen more quickly.  Can you think of others?

“Giving up,” instead of waiting, initially sounds like a fairly positive alternative… if you can get your emotions to cooperate.  But, if you were waiting for something you really cared about, there would be significant disappointment, perhaps even the terrible feeling of “the death of a vision,” if you give up.  Now, you can say, “Well, at least you get around feeling frustrated and anxious, like you do when you’re waiting.”  True, but which is the worse feeling to deal with: anxious frustration or deep disappointment?  Where I come from, it’s disappointment, far and away.

“Trying to make something happen” usually means “make anything happen.”  And, in many situations, like the proverbial bull in a china shop, a person can ram right into the middle of certain circumstances and force something to happen.  However, when the dust settles, the outcome is usually one of three things: 1) the overly aggressive attitude and behavior of the “bull” alienates everybody else around him/her; 2) since the person is “going off half-cocked,” so to speak, the results are “half-baked,” incomplete or distorted, definitely not at all what was intended; or 3) if the person is a Christian, he/she realize—too late—that it simply was not God’s timing, and that what took place was nothing more or less than a display of self-centered spiritual immaturity.

Are any of these “alternatives” to waiting positive?


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