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COLUMNS

Green: The waiting room

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Renae Brumbaugh Green

I am not a good waiter. I don’t mean the restaurant kind of waiter, though I’m not good at that, either.

Decades ago, I was hired to be a waitress at The Cotton Patch. I had nightmares about tripping over my shoelace, sending a tray of steaming hot food into my customers’ laps. Anyone who knows my coordination level knows that’s not an unreasonable fear. Before my first day on the job, I called and told them I would not be able to work for them. That was the beginning and end of my career as a waitress.

But today, I’m not thinking of my lack of physical grace so much as my lack of patience. I don’t like to wait. I’m not good at it. After the first couple of minutes of waiting for just about anything, I look around and try to figure out a way to reach my goal faster. At the grocery store, I waste more time walking up and down the checkout aisles to find the shortest line than it would take just to find one and stay put.

When I’m driving, I’ve been known to get a speeding ticket or 12. In one small town, the entire police force knows me by name. One year, I had to postpone my vacation until the next year because the combined cost of my speeding tickets surpassed the cost of my vacation. True story.

And yet, it seems my entire life is spent in limbo. I’m constantly waiting for one thing or another. I’m waiting to reach a goal or finish a degree or get a better job. I’m waiting to get the house paid off. I’m waiting for those secret desires of my heart to find reality. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting.

The problem is not in the waiting. We all have to wait. Life is one big waiting room, and we’re in it for the long haul. The problem is my attitude, during the wait. I can either wait with impatience and anxiety, or I can wait with hope and expectancy.

Did you know that fear is the opposite of hope? Fear is the belief that something bad will happen, while hope is the assurance that something good will come.

My issue is not that I have to wait. It’s that I wait with anxiety. I worry about what will happen, and I want it to hurry up and happen so I can deal with it. Yet, if I believe what I say I believe about God, anxiety should not be an issue.

He says to cast all my cares on Him for He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). He says that He is for us and not against us (Romans 8:31). When we trust Him, He maps out our paths and makes our way easier (Proverbs 3:5-6). When we delight in Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4-6).

One of these days, I hope to master this waiting room thing. I hope I can learn to wait with excitement and anticipation of what great thing God will do next. Looking back on my life, I can see how He’s always come through for me. I can calm down, relax, and enjoy the stroll. I know that no matter what I might endure during the wait, in the end, it will be worth it.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord! Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14.

Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly perfect children, and far-too-many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.