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9.06.2011

WAITING IN THE QUEUE

Some years ago there was a British comedy that aired on PBS called, "Waiting For God".  It was a set in a retirement home in England and followed the lives of several residents, their quirkiness, their agedness - thus the title, "Waiting For God".  I love most British comedies, that one included.  I was thinking while driving a long distance recently - just free falling with thoughts as the landscape whizzed by the window as I waited to get to our destination.  Waiting.  I was waiting for the 400 mile trip to end as my tailbone and legs were killing me from riding in the car!  I was in essence, waiting in the queue, waiting for the time to be up - for the next thing to come in front of me...the end of the drive.  The destination.  Much of life is about waiting in the queue.  In fact, I would venture to say, all of life is about queue waiting.  Ultimately we are waiting in a human line to come to the end of each of our physical lives.  I was keenly reminded of that yesterday as I stood in line for a funeral viewing.  No matter what we do, the line shuffles forward toward finiteness.  There were two gentleman standing behind me in line for the 45 minute wait at the funeral viewing.  They appeared to be around 60 and I was struck with the one man's words as he spoke to his friend, "You know this will be us in 20 years."  That was a poignant perspective about queue waiting.  So the thought, the question, the mission is what to do while we are in the queue line waiting.  How do we live to have purpose, passion, focus, right perspective, love, and balance it all with living not just for ourselves but God, eternity, and others?  There have been events in my life that I knew I was on the brink of - change or loss.  The thing about waiting knowing those things are coming down the pike is that you can try to prepare mentally but mostly it is futile.  I often think of bull riders.  That mental image of them in the gate where the bull is quadranted off and there is little room for movement - just waiting for the gate to be flung open.  That bull rider no doubt is thinking about his form, the ride to come - preparing as best he can.  But, the variables that come once that gate is opened are endless.  I still, at times, get frustrated over all of life being a huge waiting line - like standing in a deli with that little slip of paper that shows what number you are in line.  I am beginning to realize that waiting is not a detour, but really all of life.  I am getting that life is made to be richly lived while we wait in the queue for all sorts of things.  My perspective is not the line, but the landscape around the line.  Waiting in the queue is the vehicle not the destination.

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