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Living in the Layover

Raise your hand if you like to wait. Go ahead. Raise it high. Then feel free to move on past this blog today. Because this one goes out to all of us who have gotten impatient in the grocery line, tapped our foot while the microwave cooks, or found ourselves lost in an airport until the weather clears.

Raise your hand if you like to wait. Go ahead. Raise it high. Then feel free to move on past this blog today. Because this one goes out to all of us who have gotten impatient in the grocery line, tapped our foot while the microwave cooks, or found ourselves lost in an airport until the weather clears.

The word wait derives from "to watch, to be awake." But, how often do we try to anesthetize ourselves when we come across a patch of waiting? Not watching but wishing we could just sleep until we move on. Not awake to any stirrings within but just the stirring feeling that we’re wasting time.

The impatience comes because waiting feels like being stuck in-between—going nowhere currently but on the way to somewhere, just as soon as the wait is over. It seems like a pause on life, so we try to find a way to be functional, a way to live. Like reading magazines in line, washing dishes until the microwave dings, or emailing until cleared for takeoff. We are a do or die kind of people, and without the do, we certainly can feel like we’re dying.

But living isn’t doing, is it? Simply put, living is breathing. The in and out of existence has little to do with whether or not we have something tangible to show for every minute of the day. As Christians, we should know that we need to take moments of quiet, silence, and rest, but as microwave cookers, we do not.

I’ve always loved (and hated) Psalm 40 for the simple fact that David "waited patiently" for God and then was pulled out of the muck and mire. That’s right, "waited patiently" while in a less than wonderful situation. Interestingly, the NET Bible translates that as "relied completely" on God. Makes sense though, because in this situation, the two are parallel: there is no waiting patiently on God unless one is relying completely on Him too.

So, as I find myself in one big layover in life (living at the in-laws until the go ahead to move to Taiwan, working temp type jobs, and possibly moving to my parent’s soon, like switching airports might make us get to the final destination faster), I want to stop drumming my fingers and look for something more.

Wait time can be beautiful (still painful at times, but beautiful). It can be a time to declutter, get quite, connect with those around us, connect with God, and simply rest. Because as waiting starts to equal complete reliance, then we’ve found a beautiful place with God and life is breathed into that wait, even at the post office.

So, the rest of us better go ahead and raise our hands now. Because if we can find life in the wait, then there will be no more wasting as we wait—just living and relying. And who doesn’t like that?


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Jamie Lath

Jamie Lath is a middle child that has no baby picture without her older sister in it. Even with only two siblings, she grew up with family everywhere because all her aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and even second-cousins lived in her hometown. With forty people at her birthday parties (all relatives) and her sister in every picture, she knows a little about community, and it's everlastingness. This has brought most of her ministry focus into meeting people where they're at, listening closely (especially to those who feel voiceless and like no one is listening), and helping them find God's voice in the mix. Jamie graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas. Following a year of teaching English in China, she returned to the states to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. She received a Th.M. with a focus on Media Arts. Her background in the arts (ballet, writing, and acting) has given her an understanding of how creative expressions can give people a safe place to begin exploring how to use their voice and how it can touch hearts to hear God’s voice. She also blogs at I just called to say "Olive Juice."

2 Comments

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    SonShine

    a beautiful place with God

    Waiting is hard as we live in a society that fosters movement rather than quietness. Often I think back to the summers when I was a kid. I had many tasks to do each day, thanks to an ever disciplined and manager Mother, but one thing she encouraged was for us to read. There was no TV, no email, no cell phones (only the party line and that was scary..you never knew who was listening or even might interrupt your "private" conversation). But the afternoons when it was hot, NOTE: no pool ladies…no lakes nearby…you sat under a tree or in your bedroom high in the sky palace….and you read voraciously. You lived life virtually but you didn’t call it that for that is

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