When I signed up to join my church’s virtual Bible study, which replaced the face-to-face meeting due to Covid 19, my intention was to participate at my convenience. After the Bible study coordinator contacted me and suggested that I lead one of the groups, I had imagined a happy group of women, enjoying and sharing God’s word together. On sending out the email to set up our first meeting, I realized that my expectations were different from reality. These are uncertain times, maybe those who had signed up were no longer willing to participate and were experiencing conflicts of interests. All these thoughts resulted in frustrations.
The waiting before the actual meetings for the first couple of weeks were stressful as my mind was running wild on how things could flop. There were questions like: will next week be like the last? How long will they take before letting me know if they would attend? Will they say they will come and cancel at the very last minute? Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of times I had not been committed to church meetings and other group activities. At this point, I began to understand the feelings of church leaders and leaders in general especially when it comes to organizing meetings.
Waiting is often not an easy thing especially when the end result is beyond your control which is often the case.
One simple yet relevant lesson learned in the past few weeks is about waiting while not fainting. Since we have to wait anyways, whether it is queuing at the ATM under the hot scorching sun or waiting at the hospital before the doctor arrives, the default option is to complain about how long the wait might be because of others waiting or standing in our way. We sometimes wish we had a magical wand to make them all disappear, but to what end? When we manage to be patient, we will realize that not anticipating negatives help us have a “smoother” journey. Remember we really never know what the result is going to be; so, why not meditate on a verse like Phillipians 4:7-8:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Why do we accept just any reasons our minds suggest to us for waiting or why it is taking that much time? For example, we begin to imagine that someone is ignoring our calls because they don’t think we are a priority and we begin to rehearse responses to such imaginary scenarios. Paul in the above passage urges us to only think of what is “true”, “beautiful” and “praiseworthy” in order to avoid anxieties. Not to make up lies and start acting on them without even communicating with the other party/parties as the case may be.
Do not let your ego stand in the way
Waiting in faith is a virtue we need to cultivate as christians and it is always useful in our daily lives as well. By coming to terms with our own weaknesses often in the form of an ego like a feeling that we deserve better and could be spending our time differently rather than waiting. A better attitude or even a trick for your mind is thinking of beautiful outcomes in relation to your current situation. This is a more valuable way of spending your time since indulging in the habits of complaining is a stressor. Why not praise and pray?The more we understand that waiting is a virtue in this fast moving world, the more we begin to embrace the path God is taking us through and the more we learn to sit and let him take the wheels. After all, it is beyond our control. Have faith in God and have faith in humanity and you will be less stressed.