Don’t Wait, Be.
by: Maggie Petersen
Ever find yourself staring at a clock waiting for something to end? Or wishing away the school week so you can live up Saturday night? How about counting down the weeks, days, and minutes until Spring Break is finally here? If you’re answering yes, don’t worry... I’m right there with you.
Moreover, have you ever thought about how we, as a society, are always waiting? Whether it’s waiting on our shift to be over, or waiting to get a raise, we are constantly waiting to see some kind of change in time, quality, or opportunity. In all honesty, it’s pretty natural for humans to always be waiting for something. We live in a society that’s so fast paced, we rarely take the time to just stop and breathe. We so often miss the things that are going on around us because we direct our focus at one thing, and we wait for that one thing to come to us. And until then? Well, that’s the waiting period.
Please don’t get me wrong, anticipation is not always a bad thing. It’s fun to have things to look forward to, and when we have ideas in our head that make us excited for the future, it makes that anticipated moment so much sweeter when it finally arrives. With that being said, we find ourselves slipping into this “waiting period” when our anticipation of what’s to come overwhelms the present. One of my favorite Bible verses, coming from the book of Ecclesiastes, tells us “Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now.” One of the many reasons I love what is being said here is because it recognizes the gift of life that God gives to us. How incredible is that? That someone is willing to give us something so beautiful and so full of joy. Wherever we are - whether it be mid February when winter seems to be never ending, or having a blast on 30A wishing time would just slow the heck down - we have to recognize this ultimate gift of life, and see that it is just that: a gift.
It’s naturally a whole lot easier to be smooth sailing and all smiles when you’re on the beach rather than in the classroom, but wishing away the present day that Jesus gives us is wishing away that gift. Like any other gift we receive, we should want to utilize it and cherish it and love it with all we are. Why get caught up in waiting for Spring Break to come when we aren’t even promised tomorrow? A few years ago, someone once told me to always remember to be where your feet are. And I love that. There’s a difference between being somewhere, and being present somewhere, and the more we can learn to be present, the fuller our hearts will be.
I’m going to ask one more question: what if we stopped waiting for tomorrow, and waiting for something better, and waiting for a better day? Let’s make today THAT day. Because although sitting in the sun & sand sounds crazy good right about now, there are still precious days for us to live and love before we make our way to 30A. So use today to appreciate the here and now, and to stop waiting, and simply be.
- Maggie Petersen, Chicago