WAITING SUCKS…OR DOES IT?
My appointment was at 8:30, so I showed up at 8:25 like a good little patient, got checked in, and was escorted to the exam room. After 40 minutes of waiting, my doctor showed up. She was very apologetic, citing an emergency at the hospital as her excuse. (Apparently she’s only one of three endocrinologists in the Northland.) And because I like this lady, I was forgiving. We visited, she checked me over, and I was out of there within 10 minutes.
I then made my way to the next building over to do my semi-annual blood work. I signed in, and guess what? I waited another 40 minutes before being called back to spend all of three minutes getting poked with a tiny needle and having my blood flow into a little vial.
My waiting time for the morning: 80 minutes. My time spent with the medical professionals: 13.
Waiting sucks…or does it?
But as I sat in the lab waiting to get my blood drawn, I must admit, even though waiting sucks, I did learn a few things. Here are a few lessons I learned while waiting:
- I’m not any more important than the other five people waiting ahead of me—a couple of businessmen, a college student, a stay-at-home-mom, and an elderly gentlemen in a wheelchair. They all had worth and value. Not only that, but their time was equally as valuable as mine.
- It forced a slow-down…perhaps a much needed slow-down. You can’t hurry anything when you’re waiting.
- It forced the silence. The silence in the lab waiting room was almost deafening. I know that sounds odd. There was no TV, no radio, no one talking on cell phones. The only sounds I heard were magazine pages being flipped, people shifting in their seats, throats clearing, the droning hum of the air conditioner, and an occasional yawn now and then.
- The people on whom we are waiting (the doctor, the lab tech, etc.) also have worth and value. They’re real people with real needs. They’re every bit as imperfect as the rest of us, which means we need to treat them with the grace, dignity, and respect we expect in return.
When it comes my waiting (and the patience that must accompany it), I’ve discovered that God has a sense of humor. I must be one of His slow learners, because I frequently find myself in situations where I must wait. I always (and I’m not exaggerating)…always get in the “challenging” line at the grocery store. (You know…the line with the lady who has 58 complicated coupons, the line where they have to do price checks on a dozen items, the line with the clerk who’s working the register for the first time, etc.) When it’s time to renew my license plate, I take a number and wait my turn. My number is 47…the number they’re currently on is 12. Time after time, I’m called to be the one who waits. Oh joy!
I gotta say, however, I was appreciative of my waiting today. And as I sat reflecting (because what else are you gonna do when you’re waiting in a waiting room), God did remind me of Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
What lessons have you learned while you have had to wait?