Bob Tamasy: No Thrill In Waiting

Monday, November 11, 2013
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

“Wait!”

In today’s society, wait is among our most-hated words. It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a line at the bank, the grocery store, fast-food restaurant, retail store, the gas pump, or the post office. Especially at the post office! We don’t like waiting. “Time’s a-wasting. My life is starting to pass before my eyes!”

No one has time these days for waiting. No wonder the lurching launch of Obamacare, the Affordable Health Care Act, stirred such frustration. If people are supposed to sign up for it, they certainly don’t like having to wait to do so.

FedEx, the Internet, email, text messaging, even the almost-extinct fax machine, all have come about in part because of our reluctance to wait to communicate.

The adage said, “A watched pot never boils.” Today it is “a watched microwave never beeps.” If we’re online and click on a web link, we don’t want to wait for it to appear. We expect it to leap to our screen instantaneously. If we have to download computer software, we wring our hands as we wait for it to finish. So super-fast connection speeds are essential.

And I hardly need to mention the frustration of having to wait in a traffic jam. We’ve all been there and know it too well. Is it a traffic accident, construction, malfunctioning signal? It doesn’t matter. Just don’t make me wait!

Because of the ever-escalating pace of life, patience and the capacity for waiting have become lost virtues. TV programming and commercials consist of images rapidly changing every few seconds so we don’t lose interest. Theme parks have special express lines for people who don’t appreciate the thrill of waiting 30 minutes or longer for popular rides.

But the fact is, much of life is devoted to waiting, often for good things: Anticipating a happy event, such as a wedding, the birth of a baby, an important ballgame, a birthday or anniversary, or Christmas. Applying for admission to college and waiting hopefully for a letter of acceptance. Interviewing for a job, then awaiting a call back. Having a medical procedure done, especially for a potentially serious problem, and then waiting for the results. If the wait ends with a good report, we consider it worthwhile.

So is it any surprise that God in the Scriptures often asks us to wait? Over the years, in facing a variety of slow-to-resolve issues both at work and at home, I’ve often meditated on Psalm 37. I found it comforting, reassuring – and troublesome – to read, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” (verse 7) and “Wait for the Lord and keep his way…” (verse 34).

King David, who wrote many of the psalms, must have spent a lot of time in God’s “waiting room,” since he also penned passages like “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). When we read something like that, we want to respond, “Yeah, David, that was easy for you to say!”

However, he also made it clear the waiting was not futile, that his trust in the Lord’s timely response was rewarded. That’s why David could write, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:1-2).

Does God have you in His waiting room? Or have you been there recently? I’ve spent much time there myself. Most of the time it’s proved well worth the wait. Is waiting easy? No. Is it fun? Not at all. If we’re willing, when He asks us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), we can be assured He has a good reason for doing so.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Sunday Is 125th Anniversary Of St. Elmo Presbyterian Church

Rev. Tim Tinsley of First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Ave. will be the guest preacher.  "First Presbyterian gave the seed money to start construction 127 years ago," church officials said. Morning worship is at 10:30 a.m. Anniversary lunch will follow an anniversary photo of everyone in attendance at 12:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to join in the celebration. (click for more)

The Boat Did Float And There Is Hope Is Topic Sunday At Middle Valley Church Of God

Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pike in Hixson, announces that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic "The Boat Did Float And There Is Hope" in the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday.   This sermon is part of a special series of sermons based on the Biblical report of Jesus that the Last Days would be preceded by events like Noah's day.  Pastor McClure ... (click for more)

Plan Revived For 5-Story Boutique Hotel Next To The Walnut Street Bridge

Plans have been revived for a five-story boutique hotel next to the Walnut Street Bridge. Vision Hospitality Group said the yet-to-be named hotel will provide 90 rooms featuring high-end amenities and exemplary service in the city's art district. Plans for a similar hotel were announced in 2012, but the proposal was later withdrawn. The hotel is slated for 102 Walnut ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Says County Needs To Start "Immediately" On Funding A New County Jail

Members of the Hamilton County Grand Jury said in a final report that the county needs to start "immediately" on funding a replacement for the Hamilton County Jail. The report, read by Foreman Robert Smith, says, "The Jail is near and/or over capacity and understaffed!  Hard-working corrections officers are in constant danger.  Being responsible for 80-100 inmates per ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)