Waiting, waiting, waiting (to be sung to the tune of the Rawhide theme song for those of you who grew up on Westerns like me. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google Rawhide and Clint Eastwood, and you will find it.) I don’t know about you, but I’m not especially good at waiting. Sometimes I am just downright impatient. Perhaps that is a consequence of being born in the late 20th Century when everything started to go fast. Fast cars. Fast food. Fast computers. Okay, computers weren’t really fast until the next century, but they were faster in 1990 than they were in 1960. I cannot imagine what the pioneers must have gone through as they travelled westward in search of a place to call home. Day after day of riding in those wagons feeling like you would never get there. But I guess to them, it was an adventure filled with beauty, uncertainty, excitement, and danger. Perhaps, to those with a pioneer spirit, it wasn’t about waiting. It wasn’t just about arriving at the end of the journey. Perhaps for these brave men and women, the journey was what was important. They understood that every moment of life was precious – a gift.
To me, that is the curse of the 21st Century. We have lost the excitement of the journey. It is no longer about the adventure. Everything is about reaching goals. Getting to the endgame. Finding that place where we can be happy. We get so caught up in the prospect of where we want to be that we miss the beauty of where we are. As children, we can’t wait until we become a teenager. Then we can’t wait until we get our driver’s license. Then we can’t wait until we graduate from high school. Then there’s college, career, marriage, children, and retirement. It’s no wonder that we live in the most dissatisfied time in history. It’s no wonder that there is so much anxiety, stress, and anger. Even for those of us who are the People of the Way, the ones first called Christians in Antioch, the followers of Jesus. We have joined in this endless parade of “what’s next?” So much so that we have forgotten how to live in the moment.
Jesus never did. He always had time for those divine interruptions. It was okay with him for the children to crash the party. Someone needed some healing? No problem. He was a Man, the Man, who understood that the adventure is in the journey, not the destination. It is this moment that is important – this moment with our precious children; this moment with our aging parents; this moment with our precious spouse. It is this moment that is precious, and only if we live in the moment can we be sure that at the end of the journey we will be able to say with peace and joy in our hearts, “I have arrived.” Don’t give up this moment for the uncertain moments that lie ahead.