Do you find that you spend a lot of time waiting? Perhaps not consciously, as waiting for a kettle to boil, but unconsciously we are all waiting for one thing or another. For the weekend, for retirement, for graduation, for the birth of a child….the list is endless. We wait in lines to be checked out at the supermarket. We sit in doctors’ and dentists’ offices, waiting for appointments. We wait for the all-important phone call or cheque in the mail. We wait in hope, in fear, in excitement, in expectation of good or bad results.
I recently spent a whole year at home, waiting to be well. I waited for appointments, test results, answers, and new treatments. In hindsight, it feels as if I lost that year. But the reality is that life carried on, even though I was unable to live it the way I would have liked to. And if I did “lose” any time, it was because I lost it by focusing on that thing that was in the future, and not on the things that were taking place in the present.
I am back to work now, and grateful to be there. Yet I find myself falling into the old habit of counting the days till the weekend. I suppose we all do it. We might love our jobs, yet our lives outside of work are more important. That is only natural. But in the meantime, during those five days at work, there is much life to be lived. I don’t want to simply “put in time” at work; I have realized that during that 5 day period, I spend as many waking hours at work as I do at home. That is a big part of my week, and of my life. I want it to count too, not just be something that I endure until my “real” life can resume.
It’s easy to do that, to get caught up in what is yet to be, and to let it overshadow everything else. To allow that one hoped for yet unrealized thing rob you of living in the moment, stealing joy, opportunities, or sleep.
It’s good to have goals, and to save for retirement, plan families, education and careers. But in the meantime, there is so much life to live. Are you waiting for that one thing? Are you hoping that when you retire, graduate or meet that “special someone” that life will be so much more worth living? Don’t wait till then. Live all the life you can right now. Every moment is a gift from God. You see, life is what happens, while we wait.
“I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” (Psalm 146:2)