I wondered, for a moment, how much time in the average life is spent just waiting.
For a meeting to start.
For a class to begin.
For a friend to arrive.
The minutes add up quickly. Would it be days? Weeks? Months?
Then there are those other things we wait for. Not those things you can necessarily count in minutes.
When we’re young, our waiting revolves around things we’re looking forward to, like our birthdays. My three and a half year old son keeps asking if it’s March yet. Finally, I think he got tired of waiting and this morning he proclaimed that he is now four. As children we wait for Christmas and holidays, or for a school year to end.
Then we get to be teens and wait for the day we can get our driver’s license, or graduate from high school, or experience that first kiss.
We become adults and wait for the day we have a degree, or get married, or have kids.
Then, when we have those children, we have a hard time waiting until they can walk or talk, or are potty trained.
More time passes and we can’t wait until they are old enough to stay home by themselves, or can help more with the chores.
Then, when they are grown and move away (which I’m thankful I haven’t experienced yet), we can’t wait until they call or visit.
We once again wait expectantly for our birthdays in hopes for a call from a loved one; or the holidays, so we can be together again.
Why do we wait so impatiently for moments to pass?
Why do we so often fail to realize they are moments that will never come again?
It could be getting woken up in the middle of the night by a child seeking comfort after a bad dream.
Or picking up your children from school, hearing them excitedly relate tales of their day.
So we might be exhausted and half awake, or mentally planning the dinner menu, or stressing inside about some other “grown-up” issue.
But these are the times to treasure, to be fully in the moment, because if we let them pass by while wishing we were past them, they will pass soon enough … And they will be gone forever.
Only the memories will remain.
What will those memories hold?
Precious moments where we’ve given all we can of the things that last – love, patience, time, joy?
Or will they be tempered with impatience, frustration, busyness and pressure?
Only we can decide.
And only time will tell.
Whether we have made the most of every “waiting” moment … And used those moments to create a legacy that will last forever.