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Wasted Time

December 29, 2013

“Big Ben” (Tower clock at Westminster Palace), Author Aldaron, Source Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’  My times are in Your hand…” (Ps. 31: 14-15).

The practice of law involves a great deal of “hurry up and wait” – the rush toward urgent deadlines, conferences, trials, and other aspects of litigation then delayed by circumstance. Whether in court or in traffic; with clients, adversaries, or witnesses, the waste of precious time can be infuriating.

The Bible is filled with examples of delay.  Abraham waited 25 years for the son he was promised by God.  Sold into slavery, Joseph spent over 20 years in Egypt before being reunited with his brothers.  The Israelites waited 400 years for liberation from bondage, then spent 40 more years wandering in the desert.  Anointed by Samuel, David had to wait another 20 years or so before ascending to the throne.

Alot of downtime, assuming it was pointless.

Our own lives are packed with delay – the “in-between” days, months, and years when nothing important seems to be happening to us.  We may have waited with anticipation for true love, that first big break, or our 21st birthday. We wait on job interviews and promotions; on exam results, verdicts, and diagnoses – good news and bad.

Our time can be parsed into even smaller segments.  We wait for our kids after school; at dance class, soccer, and the dentist.  We wait on line at the post office, the supermarket, the pharmacy, and the movies.  We spend time waiting in doctors’ offices and airport lounges. Hospitals actually have rooms designated for waiting.

So is all this delay just “wasted” time? No, I have come to believe that God utilizes the experience of waiting — that feeling like sandpaper against the skin — to refine us, in ways we cannot imagine.

For one thing, we can be used wherever God has placed us. Perhaps we are there to offer comfort to a stranger, while we wait. Perhaps we are there to shine a light in what would otherwise be darkness.

Perhaps we are there as a witness to events, the voice for victims unable to speak for themselves. Perhaps we are there to learn faithfulness, to share a friend’s pain in the valley of the shadow of death. Perhaps we are there in preparation for a future task as yet unknown.

Delay fosters patience. As we wait, we learn to recognize opportunities for service already within our reach. Waiting on the Lord, we gradually grow in faith, willingly entrusting God with our lives.

Mankind waited countless millennia before the promise of Salvation was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus Christ. But the Savior who restored the relationship between God and man was well worth the wait.  Ultimately, it is in Him we put our trust.

With thanks to Charly Priest


  1. thank you for this, it came at just the right time. imagine that!

  2. Planting Potatoes permalink

    good, thanks for sharing!

  3. Again, thank you all for visiting. Don’t lose heart!

  4. Such true words and a good reminder to us. God bless!

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