Saturday, June 30, 2012

Waiting--Torture or Treasure? by Lori Hatcher

As I brought John back into the operatory and seated him in my dental chair, I held my hands out for his glasses and newspaper. "I'll set these over here on the counter for you," I told him.

"Be sure you give those back if you leave the room, and I have to wait," he said, "I hate waiting with nothing to do."

"I agree," I said emphatically, "There is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere with nothing to do. I hate wasting time."

We commiserated on the excruciating torture of long waits in doctors' offices and drive through lines, and then I introduced another thought.

"Often when I am forced to wait somewhere," I told him, "I use that time to pray." Perhaps because I placed an x-ray holder into his mouth, or perhaps because he had nothing to say, John did not respond to my remark.

I believe not wasting time is a biblical principle. Ephesians 5:16 encourages us that we should be "redeeming the time, for the days are evil." 


For me, one way to redeem the time is to capture those potentially wasted moments when I am forced to wait. Instead of chafing at delays, I choose to look at them as opportunities during my busy day to pray. 

That way, I am multi-tasking -- I am waiting to have my eyes checked and interceding through prayer for my missionary friends in Spain. I am waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store and praying for my daughter's safety and health. I am waiting for the lady to slice my deli meat and praying for my husband's ministry. It is a win/win situation. I am going about my daily duties and accomplishing great things through the vehicle of prayer.

An additional benefit to praying while waiting is that I have less of a tendency to get impatient and irritable. Instead of feeling like someone is wasting my time, instead I feel like I have been given a gift -- precious time in my busy day during which I can talk to my heavenly Father on behalf of those I love.

I didn't have the opportunity to say all of this to my patient as he sat in the chair while I cleaned his teeth. I wondered, though, if he was giving thought to the fact that while he was waiting for me to finish, he had lots of time to pray.

I challenge you, the next time you are waiting, redeem the time through prayer. Imagine what you can accomplish!
Copyright 2011 by Lori Hatcher

Lori Hatcher is a freelance writer, dental hygienist, and youth minister’s wife. Read more about her and her new book on the "Lead Writer's" page.

7 comments:

  1. Great challenge Lori! I'll take you up on it.

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  2. Lori,
    What a beautiful reminder!
    Thanks!

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    1. Instead of time wasted, it's time INVESTED!!

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  3. Thanks for the great suggestion. I have been trying to find ways to remind myself to pray throughout the day.

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    1. I am always amazed at how those little bits of time add up to a vibrant prayer life. . . praying throughout the day keeps those precious lines of communication going between me and God, so I'm reminded often that he's only a prayer away.

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  4. Wow - this is excellent. Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed to read this. Hopping over from Homemaking. Blessings from Zagreb - A Little R R & (http://jukiczr.blogspot.com)

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  5. Rosilind, thanks so much for visiting. While I won't pray that you'll have lots of time to wait, I will pray that you'll discover the joy of redeeming the time :)

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