Like most people, I don’t care much for waiting. When we wait, it is usually because we hope to receive something in the end. We wait for so many things. People get in line for services, for food and for entertainment. We even have waiting rooms. Face it, we all wait for something. Waiting isn’t something g most people enjoy, so how we wait makes all the difference.
In the night he was handed over, Jesus told the eleven to wait in the garden, to keep watch and pray that evil doesn’t come upon them. There in the garden, in the time of Jesus’ most critical need, his friends waited and fell asleep (Mark 14:34-38). Their kind of waiting wasn’t what Jesus had in mind. Instead of following their Lord’s instruction, the disciples gave in to desires of earthly flesh and once more fell short of God’s expectation. But as we read in scripture, a transformation would soon take place.
After Jesus was raised from the grave, once again he told the apostles to wait. Jesus instructed his friends to wait in Jerusalem and he would send them “the promise of my Father.” They had no idea how long they would wait or what exactly they were waiting for, but this time their waiting was much different. Luke tells us they waited together, devoting themselves to worship and prayer. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, even waiting is transformed.
Waiting is not something people do well. We get anxious, we wonder if we are waiting in the right spot or for the right thing. It isn’t long before those who are waiting find something to engage while they wait. As it was with the apostles, our waiting often gives in to desires of earthly flesh. Soon, we too fall short of God’s expectation. But just like the apostles, our waiting also can be transformed.
The time we spend waiting is time we can spend with the Father. It is a time we can use for prayer, reading Holy Scripture and growing in our relationship with Christ. Even as our need to do something while we wait takes over, we can engage in acts of charity for the sake of our neighbor. Certainly we will all wait for something, but it is how we wait that makes all the difference. For that which we truly await is the complete fulfillment of the Father’s promise.