What to Do While Waiting || Tony Roos
Tom Petty may have said it best, “the waiting is the hardest part.” And while it may not be the hardest, it certainly is not easy. We do not like waiting. Yet it is part of every day life.
Most of us are experienced in waiting
…for your ride to come
…for your hair to dry
…for your grades to post
…for your movie to download
…for your career to start
…for God to speak.
In France we do our fair share of waiting. We waited three hours the other day to have three people look at the same papers over and over again. Imagine the DMV with longer lines. There are only so many times you can check facebook.
Yet what could I have done with those three hours? Sure, I tri-starred plenty of levels on Angry Birds but was that really what I was supposed to do.
What are we supposed to do while waiting for God to speak or for our next step? Looking at what the Apostle Paul did might bring insight.
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. -Acts 17:16-18
This is the Apostles Paul’s response to waiting. He looked around and decided to do something while waiting. Sure he could have taken in the sites and waited in his room for the others to arrive. Instead, he took advantage of the time he had and decided to share Christ with all who would listen.
What if instead of 5 levels cleared on Angry Birds we send our 5 encouraging texts to friends? Or do something completely weird and send a postcard. I know using the post office is so 1993, but try it. I bet there are people who would love to receive something besides bills.
But what about that longer period while you are waiting on God? While you are waiting for Him to answer your prayers? Those months or years you are praying for clarity in your purpose, what do you do with them? Sit back in the basement and clear another round of Modern Warfare or finish another series on Netflix?
Here is what I see,
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
This is what we are to do. The nuts and bolts may not be clearer but are we doing it in the name of the Lord are we doing it to bring Glory to God. Are we doing it to spread God’s justice, are we acting in mercy, are we walking humbly with God? (Micah 6:8)
We are busy I understand that, I understand there are things we need to do, people we need to meet and places we need to go. But I also know that there are many wasted moments, many times when we simply let time waste away, the next thing you know you will be graduating from college or five years into your career and realizing you are still waiting. And that maybe, just maybe the things that passed you by in the waiting were the things you should have been doing.
Start small. Use the moments waiting in line to spread joy.
- Smile at someone and start a conversation
- Send out a few texts of encouragement
- Crack open your bible or fire up the bible app and read a bit.
Grow bigger. Volunteer in waiting.
- Find a local shelter that needs help
- Get involved at church or a local community center.
- Mentor a child
- Memorize scripture
Even bigger. Spend your waiting on mission.
- Be involved in short term missions. I know a site in Paris France that is looking for interns.
- Research how to best invest your time. But do not waste your time searching.
- Invest your time in things that will last. Like Paul did. He invested in people and sharing the Gospel.
But whatever you do, do it for the Glory of God.
|Tony Roos is a husband, father and leads the ENvision Paris short term mission and discipleship site (with the C&MA). When he is not enjoying spending time with his wife and kids he can be found taking things apart and attempting to put them back together. He and his family live just outside of Paris, France where the cheese is as good as they say it is.|
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