I keep checking my watch, looking toward the door. I’m at the service waiting area of a car dealership, one of my least favorite places. For years my dad has spoiled me by taking my car for service. He says he doesn't mind it since he likes talking to the guys at his neighborhood car shop. He buys them pizza and they joke that he's there so often they've named a car bay in his honor.
Car businesses are a little intimidating to me because it seems that everyone who works there speaks a language I don't understand. I hear them talk about boots and belts and clutches, but all I can envision are the cute ones they sell at Macy’s and TJ Maxx.
Language differences aside, I think the time has come for me to handle my own car repairs. So on a Saturday morning I arrive for an oil change just as my neighborhood car business opens.
In less than an hour they tell me my oil is changed, the tires are rotated but something is leaking from somewhere that I really should have the dealer check out. While I'm still feeling brave with a successful oil change under my belt (the fashion kind of belt, of course) I decide to drive straight to the Honda dealer.
The service staff warns me that it could be a couple of hours, but I'm determined to settle in and wait. After an hour, they tell me my car is next. Two hours later, they tell me it’s out for a test drive. Three hours later the problem has been identified but it will still be another hour to fix it.
Although I’m tired of waiting, I'm hopeful that the finish line is in sight.
I wonder why waiting is so hard to do. Why does it cause such anxiety and disgruntlement? Maybe the routine short-term waits for stoplights and drive-through food and check-out lines seem a little easier because I know they'll eventually end with my goals accomplished.
Is waiting longer so much harder because it requires patience and perseverance? During different seasons of my life, I've waited to hear about a job or business opportunity or an offer I've made on a house or even now, a promising possibility for my blog. But what makes waiting so difficult is the uncertainty. This unpredictability is hard to push aside.
But I'm convinced there are some things in my life that I just can’t force into my own predetermined timeline. If I try to move forward and it doesn’t seem to be working, then that’s where faith steps in. And I take a step back.
To wait. To pray. To ponder. To seek God’s heart for me in every situation. To wait for direction, opportunity, and clarity. And often that's what takes time.
But that's why I wait. I wait to see what God will do when what I'm praying for looks impossible, seems daunting or appears insurmountable. So often in the waiting, I lose heart. I lose hope. I don’t have the stamina to hold on. I feel worn out and I let my faith falter.
But I’ve realized that my purpose isn’t found in a goal I'm pursuing, a project I'm working toward, or a dream I hope will come true. It's about knowing God better than I ever have before.
So I’ve given up waiting for hope.
Not as in relinquished, but exchanged.
I am exchanging waiting for hope.
It's true that perseverance and persistence bring hope. Despite challenging dilemmas and difficult circumstances, I can still be hopeful. And what if I started living hopefully like God just might answer the prayers on my heart? Because I know he can.
My hope waits for me in the confident faith that God is overseeing the entire blueprint of my life.
So while I wait I’m leaving a few of the unrealized desires of my heart gently fluttering in the breeze so that they’re open for God to do the impossible. They're unfurled and ready to take flight if God chooses to create beauty from ashes in this very sacred place.
And in that possibility waits the hope that God could do so much more than I could ever imagine.
At the car dealership, the technician finds me just 30 minutes after his last report and says he worked as fast as he could and would I care to wait a few minutes more for a free car wash? I certainly love a clean car. I smile and tell him I am happy to wait.
I think I better understand this car lingo now. Who knew the world of fashion, where I know my way around, was so similar to this unfamiliar world of cars?
So let's see, the next time I need a new serpentine belt (snakeskin, right?) and some dust boots (this must be what I wear to be ultra-fashionable while cleaning?) and want to see what the latest models are sporting for the season, I might just swing by the nearest car dealership instead of TJ Maxx.
I hope there's a car fashion week. I'll be waiting for it.
|My aunt Audrey poses atop a car bumper in Pittsburgh in the 1950s.|
I'm so excited to be one of 100 bloggers chosen to help launch author Bonnie Gray's new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace. Click here for a sneak peek!
Today I'm linked up with Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, as we share our whitespace moments.