HURRY UP AND WAIT Andy Hollifield 3-28-19
Psalms 62:5 My soul, wait thou only on God; for my expectation is from him. (KJV)
We have all heard the saying; Hurry up and wait. We know that it refers to having to rush around to get something done or go somewhere and then being delayed for whatever reason. Have you ever thought about the fact that is how we live our lives? It seems we are constantly in a hurry. We can’t wait on anything. I admit personally that waiting is one of the things I find most difficult. It doesn’t matter if it is waiting for food at a restaurant or waiting at a red-light. I just hate waiting. And yes; waiting on the Lord is no easier. I have been known to mess up quite a few times in my life simply because I failed to wait on the Lord. I have at times jumped to wrong conclusions because I failed to wait for all the facts to come out. Have you ever noticed how we have a tendency to cut people off in mid-sentence when they are telling something that evokes a strong response from us? Waiting is a lesson that is taught often but seldom learned.
I had the privilege recently to spend some time with a friend that I have known for close to thirty years. I was in the town where he lived on business and thought that I couldn’t possibly be that close and not stop to see him. He has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life and now to a bed and although his body has failed him, his mind is as sharp as it ever was. He is one of those type of people who, when you part company, you feel like you have just been tremendously blessed because of the time you spent with him. As is often the case when we visit, we spend a lot of time cutting up and joking back and forth. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Regardless of what we may talk about, there has never been a time that I have ever left that my heart has not been more merry than when I arrived.
As I thought about the years we had known each other as I left his home that day, I began to think of how quickly two hours had passed. I also began to think about how wonderful it was just to be able to slow down and just enjoy someone’s company for a while and not be in such a rush. This time of year is a rushed time for me due to our ministry Easter basket project. I don’t like to waste a lot of time during a project and usually burn both ends against the middle until it is finished. After spending that day delivering baskets and then making a trip to another ministry I work with and then going to his town to take care of some unfinished business, I thought I would drop by for a minute. Experience should have taught me that wasn’t going to happen. The shortest time we have spent together away from church has been a half hour. I stopped there a couple of times and spent my lunch break with him when I was driving a truck. It has never mattered how much time I had to spend with him, I have always thought that I went away far better than when I got there.
This day started me asking myself why we allow ourselves to get caught up in such a rush all the time that we can’t visit like we used to. As a boy, I remember my mom and neighbors sitting on our front steps visiting for what seemed like hours on more than one occasion. As I got older, I found that those same neighbors were chock-full of wisdom that a young man could benefit from. I learned from my mom and dad how to spend time having friends and what it meant to be a friend. I hadn’t really thought much about it but the reason I got in church and am born again is because my mom’s cousin was also her best friend and invited mom to go with her. After the church prayed my dad back in, there were a lot of people who were dad’s friends that got in church because of their friendship with him. As I drove down the road that day, all of these thoughts made me ask myself just what it is that seems so important that we can’t take time to have friends anymore or more importantly, to be one.
I remembered when I was a teenager, sitting at the bedside of my pastor as he lay dying of cancer. I am not really sure exactly what it was that drew a teenage boy to him and made me want to be there. Looking back I have come to the conclusion that it wasn’t really what he preached but just the fact that he lived it and had a love for his young people as people and not just as kids. He always had time to stop and take an interest in our lives. He made himself available to be a friend to anyone that was interested in having one. As I left my friend’s house on this day, I remember that our friendship started off at church with him admiring my new red Ford Bronco and talking about it must have cost a pretty penny. I told him that my payment book was as thick as a phonebook. From that conversation began a friendship that has lasted all these years.
I have decided as I have gotten older that it would pay us all to slow down sometimes and not spend time with friends, but rather invest our time trying to be one. We never remember all of the things that make us rush around but we always cherish the memories of time shared with friends. At times in the middle of all the “hurry up” in our lives, it would do us all good to just hurry up and wait. Time spent can never be regained but time invested will always remain. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!