I Can't Wait / I Will Wait: Adventures in Waiting
posted on September 16
I Can’t Wait / I Will Wait:
Adventures in Waiting
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.”
Psalm 130:5 (NIV)
Like many of us, I have a “go-to” music playlist. Lightheartedly, I call it my “Funeral” playlist. When the time comes for my family to seek out some favorite songs for visitation background music, why not have my favorites? Why make them wonder, “What were her favorite songs?”
So far, I have forty-seven songs, which translates into over three hours of listening pleasure. I have oldie-goldies (Sinatra’s “Let’s Get Away from it All”) and relatively new music, including Kacey Musgraves and Maggie Rogers. I have Christian music from across the ages, and of course 70’s favorites: Joe Walsh, John (Cougar) Mellencamp, the Commodores, John Denver, and the Eagles. My favorite band, the Wailin’ Jennys, are featured, three times to be exact.
Interestingly, on my “Funeral” playlist, there are several songs about waiting. Some simply allude to waiting. (“When My Morning Comes Around” by Iris Dement and “Come Monday” by Jimmy Buffett). Others actually have the word “wait” in the title. It must be a theme with me, this theme of waiting.
One is called “I Can’t Wait.” (Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, & Fats Kaplin) I love it so much I’ve used it in worship and with clergy groups. It speaks of not wanting to wait, an eagerness to experience in the here and now what has been promised to us. “Someday we’ll roll away the stone that we’ve carried for so long, all our problems will be gone, and I can’t wait.” It speaks of a place “where all fears have been erased”, a beautiful free space where “all the locks have fallen from the gates.” Simply put, I can’t wait!
Another is a classic from Mumford and Sons, called “I Will Wait.” It presents the counterpoint, which is the possibility of patience. We know we are ready for a better day, but we also know that we need discipline to wait for it. To “be bold, as well as strong, and use my head alongside my heart.” I will wait. I can “kneel down, know my ground, raise my hands, paint my spirit gold, and bow my head, and keep my heart slow.” We can wait, because we trust God to unfold our history and be with us during that unfolding.
We can do whatever is necessary, act or wait, as long as we remain close to God. God’s spirit can speak to us and prompt us to push in some moments, and to be patient in others. We can live in the sweet spot between “I Can’t Wait” and “I Will Wait.” For Christians, that is called the middle time, between the Kingdom which has come already, and the Kingdom which is not yet.
I encourage you in your own acts of listening, in the creation of your life’s “playlist”, and in the active patience (or is it patient activism?) that you practice in your own ministries across our District. At work or play, as laity or clergy, continue to live faithfully in your waiting - whatever it is that you are waiting for. May God bless you and strengthen you and fill you with hope.
Patiently and Actively Yours,