45 to 62 minutes.
That’s the amount of time we spend waiting on an average day. Waiting for laundry. Lines. Customer service. Traffic. The pot to boil.
Sometimes the wait’s for something harder.
- The promotion.
- The Big news.
A few weeks ago I heard a message on fighting well and the ideas are still floating around in my mind. Being the overachiever I am, I’ve practiced fighting since then, just to test out the theories….
The thing about fighting well is this: we can’t fight mad. So we spend time waiting for yet another thing in life: for ourselves and those we love to cool off enough to argue with style and respect.
What can we do in the meantime? While
that other person’s getting their act together we’re waiting?
- Write – Journal your feelings in all their *loving* glory! (Ehem). Get it out there, where it doesn’t break hearts and relationships. Rant, process, grieve, struggle… all in the safety of a private place to feel.
- Move – Do something that includes bilateral movement where you repetitively use one side of your body, then the other. When you’re upset, the connection between your left (analytical) and right (creative) brain interrupts. It’s a self-preservation thing. But you need both sides to solve problems and manage the wait. Get that connection going again with some bilateral movement: walking, swimming, or even a game of pat-a-cake with your toddler.
- Read – Pick up something that supports, inspires, resources and strengthens you. Devotionals, favorite quotes, scripture, affirmations you’ve written in similar situations before. Fill your mind with useful food to fuel your own calm-down and give you fresh ideas for when you re-engage the issue at hand.
- Pray – Open up to Someone who can help you. Ruth Haley Barton, in her book Sacred Rhythms, recommends “breathing prayer,” a form of meditation where we invite God into each breath, each thought, each wave of feeling. It’s a being with God, a getting a sense of His heartbeat for us. Words are optional.
- Decide – You’re in it for the long-haul, and a sense of intentional commitment to the outcome is crucial to wait for the right moment to reengage the issue. When we’re all-in, we’re expectant, looking, open to the opportunities to move when it’s time.
- Live – Sometimes the wait is long. Days. Months. In our family’s case with my 9 year old, years. And so we write and move and read and pray and choose and…. live. We keep going, keep growing, keep loving, keep trying, keep seeking. We enjoy the moments of sunshine. We sing when we’re led. We dance, and bake and love the people around us.
When we’re waiting – for life, a relationship, a decision, or for them to get their act together – we pass the time doing one thing: Get our own acts together.
It’s not easy, but it’s better than just sitting there for that 4% of your life you’ll spend waiting. This is your only life, after all. Live it – all of it – with everything you’ve got.
How’s your wait going today?