Tag Archives: hurry up

Waiting is Spiritual?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, December 8, 2015

waiting Advent word cloud

Waiting is Spiritual?

Hurry up and wait. That’s what my father told me life in the Army was like. At least, that’s what it was like for him in World War II, in northern India. The unit he was assigned to would often need to hurry up! Fall in! Pack up! And then, wait. And wait. And, wait some more.

I am so glad I don’t need to face the privations and horrors of war. I cannot even imagine what that would be like. But, I have friends who assist refugees. Yes, some of these refugees come from countries where there is little war or conflict. Refugees come to the United States because of economic difficulties.

But by far, many more refugees are fleeing active conflict. Fearing for their lives, their loved ones’ lives, or both. Having political or ideological differences with the ruling party. Glad and relieved and sad and grieving. Oh, and angry, too. Leaving a home they often will never see again, a country where they never can return.

These are people who truly know what it is like to hurry up and wait. Hurry! Scurry! In fear for their lives sometimes. Masses of refugees being assigned a number. Not a name any longer. Waiting in some sort of holding area, for a long time. Hurry up and wait.

What was it like for the Holy Family? I know we haven’t gotten there yet, in terms of the Christmas story line. But after the coming of the Wise Men, the Holy Family fled to Egypt. They were refugees, for a long time. They had to remain in hiding, fearing for their lives. And especially, fearing for the life of the young child Jesus.

In terms of where I am at, still in the time of waiting. In Advent. I realize that my sense of waiting pales in comparison to the waiting and the patience of God. Henri Nouwen mentions “if … God in Jesus Christ is waiting for our response to divine love, then we can discover a whole new perspective on how to wait in life.” [1]

Dear Lord, help me learn to wait, to be patient and have some of Your patience. Help me be open and willing to assist those who also wait. To come alongside of those who are despairing. Help us all come together as we all wait for You. In relationship with You and in relationship with each other. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


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[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 20.

Teeter Totter and—Be Quiet. Be Prayerful.

matterofprayer blog post for Tuesday, June 10, 2014

PRAY believe hope

Teeter Totter and—Be Quiet. Be Prayerful.

My life has been full lately. More often than not, I’ve felt like I’ve had to hurry up and do the next thing on the schedule.

At my work, my co-worker transitioned out of his position as interim co-pastor over the past several weeks. So, he and I have been going over the transitional tasks, hoping to make the passing of the baton as smooth as possible. The first Sunday of the month was his last Sunday with this church. We had a wonderful celebration of his interim ministry. He is now transitioning into a new position with his denomination, and I wish him the very best! Still—a big change, and lots to do, to take care of, and make sure it all gets done in a timely fashion.

In several other areas of my life, as well, things have been hopping! On top of everything else, my son’s cold two weeks ago and my subsequent cold last week (I caught it from my son . . . he shared!) added to the distraction and upset. I felt like I was on a big teeter totter, like I remember from the park near my house as a child.

Huge teeter totters made of metal, welded to a sturdy metal pipe structure in the center. The seats were wooden, painted gaily in bright colors. I liked going on the teeter totters well enough, but I did not enjoy being held up in the “up” position for a long time. Sometimes two of the other children would sit on the other end together, and there would be nothing I could do about it except holler and yell and wiggle my legs. (Much to the amusement of the others in the playground, I am sure.) And then, down-down-down, boom! Crash, on the ground! I’d finally get back to earth, with solid ground under my feet.

My transition time hasn’t been quite that traumatic—with booms and crashes—but it has been a time of adjustment. I have felt a little like I was up in the air on a teeter totter, even though my colleague Gordon was and is wonderful. He is older and wiser, and has transitioned in and out of quite a number of positions. He’s an old hand at this, and he couldn’t have been more supportive.

But still, there was that teeter totter feeling. Sometimes.

Good thing I have my prayer time! I was able to get quiet, calm myself, be present to God and have God be present with me. I love being able to focus on God’s compassion and openness, as well as the abundant care and encouragement that comes from being in the presence of the Divine, the Holy, the Lover of my soul. Thanks be to God!

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, Gracious God, thank You for Your special presence with me these past few weeks. I praise Your name for Gordon, such a wonderful colleague! Please bless him in his future ministry. But God, there is still that teeter totter feeling! I still can feel it inside. Please, God, give me—give us the assurance that You will be with us even though we are unsure whether there is solid earth or quicksand under our feet. Whether our co-workers are great people or not-so-great people, I know without a doubt You are here, right by my side. Right by our sides. What a blessing. Thank You, God!


(also published at www.matterofprayer.net Shortlink: