WAITING is something we all get to do. The college student waits to see how he scored on his examination, waits to hear if his car loan is approved, waits to see if his job application is accepted. The parent waits for his child to arrive home safely and waits for the child to learn certain lessons. The commuter waits for traffic to ease up or waits for his train or bus.
But with all the practice we get at waiting, few of us actually enjoy it. Whenever we hear someone say, ``I didn't have to wait in line at the store,'' his voice is usually filled with joy and triumph!
Is there any way to uplift those many occasions in life when we seem stranded in fruitless waiting?
On one occasion, when I was anxiously waiting for a big event to take place, impatience and frustration began to overtake me. When I turned to God in prayer, this helpful idea came to thought: ``Don't wait; be!'' I recalled that each moment is a God-provided opportunity to ``be'' His offspring, to express the divine nature and so bless others as well as ourselves. We need not put our God-established being on hold. We need never feel like a fretful victim, hoping for some future event to liberate us.
As a result of this insight, I was freed of impatient calendar watching. I was still eagerly waiting, but the expectancy was no longer tainted with anxiety and frustration. I realized that God never places His children in limbo or in a holding pattern.
Although limited human perception sees things quite differently, the spiritual fact brought out in the Bible is that our true being is God's spiritual offspring and that God is eternally providing His children with purpose and satisfaction. He creates no empty or interim moments. God supplies man with abundant life and uninterrupted activity. ``Life and being are of God,''1 affirms Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and the founder of this newspaper.
Of course, merely telling ourselves to be patient seldom brings real peace or meaning to our waiting periods. But welcoming the spiritual fact of God's present goodness acquaints us with the deeper potential of the day. Our waiting moments can become occasions for silent prayer, heartfelt gratitude, original thought, or some other useful activity. Our waiting naturally becomes ``being.'' In the Gospel of John we find the account of a lame man waiting by a pool of water.2 He believed that ``an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.''
And so he waited. And waited. He must have become frustrated because when the water was stirred, someone else would invariably step into the pool ahead of him.
Then Jesus came to the lame man and said, ``Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.'' The man was immediately healed of his disability.
His healing shows that one need not wait in order to experience God-given freedom. Yes, there are times when we need to persist patiently in prayer. But if man is created by God, as the Scriptures tell us, then strength, holiness, and health are native to us and are ours now. Discord and disease are unjust impositions on our God-given being.
Waiting for something to happen does not free us from evil's impositions. But understanding, as Jesus did, that God is the sole source of man's being can bring healing.
The Christian Science textbook, by Mrs. Eddy, reasons: ``Inasmuch as God is good and the fount of all being, He does not produce moral or physical deformity; therefore such deformity is not real,but is illusion, the mirage of error. Divine Science reveals these grand facts. On their basis Jesus demonstrated Life, never fearing nor obeying error in any form.''3
Instead of passively waiting for a change of circumstances, we can actively pray to understand that God, perfect Love, is indeed ``the fount of all being.'' As we embrace this reality, we'll see the preciousness of this moment. We'll find ourselves being what God is causing us to be rather than waiting, waiting, waiting....
1Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 103. 2See John 5:2-9. 3Science and Health, pp. 243-244. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Psalms 62:5