A nurse popped her head into the doctor’s office and said, “There’s an invisible man in the waiting room.” The doctor replied, “Tell him I can’t see him.”

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Last weekend I walked into a restaurant and said “Hi, is my table ready?” The hostess said, “Not yet. Do you mind waiting?” I said, “No, that’s okay,” and she said, “Great, take these menus and drinks to table number six.”

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A state trooper was lying in wait at a speed trap when he spotted a car going way over the limit.  He flashed his lights, pulled the car over, walked up to the driver and said, “I’ve been waiting for you all day,” to which the driver responded, “I got here as fast as I could.”

***

Waiting. We wait for others in health facilities, in restaurants, and sometimes people wait for us. Our pets do all the time. There are songs about waiting, some classics like Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain and The Rolling Stones’ Waiting on a Friend, for instance. Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot was made into a movie, as well.

Speaking of movies, that list seems endless: Waiting for Forever; Heaven is Waiting; Waiting to Exhale; Waiting for the Light; Waiting for Guffman; Waiting for Lightning; Waiting for the Barbarians; Waiting for Anya; Waiting for Superman; and even the title of this post: The Waiting Game. 

We wait for babies to be born, for vacations to start, for “the holidays” to arrive, and for test results. A large number of Christians are waiting for The Rapture, a theological concept with questionable Biblical support, I think, but which gives hope to many. A lot of folks in the US are waiting to see how today’s FEMA Nationwide Emergency Alert test plays out. And right now as you read this, someone, somewhere in the world, is waiting for a roommate to take out the garbage.

Recently I got hung up on waiting for something. I had already been waiting for a year and a half after applying for Portuguese citizenship when I was told last January that I needed more language credit. I needed to take a proficiency exam. I had to wait until March for the next time they were administering it, and then it was postponed until June because of the pandemic. Then I had to wait seven weeks for the results. (I passed.) Now I’m waiting for the official news that my papers are in order and I can finally become a Portuguese citizen. (I’d say, “I can’t wait” but that would defeat my point.)

An interesting phenomena occurred over these past eight months. Holding my proverbial breath, waiting for these requirements to be fulfilled, I allowed my life to be on hold. I wasn’t writing anymore, barely managing a brief once-a-month blog post. I could have written an entire novel in the full year that has transpired since I resigned from my position as International Living’s Portugal Correspondent, and when I read about fellow authors who have written multiple books since the beginning of 2020, I am, in fact, a bit ashamed. While they stepped up to the literary plate, I instead was paralyzed by focusing on both my personal situation and the unexpected, improbable, and frankly incomprehensible turns our world was taking.

That’s over. I know I can focus on long term goals before short term ones are completed. I’m now at work on a 2022 calendar to be marketed in the fall, and I’m outlining not one, but two books. There’s more, but you get the idea.

What are you waiting for? What would you do if you had the time and/or money and/or freedom to accomplish your goal? Are you waiting for the right person to come along, or for the kids to start school, or for them to graduate? Are you waiting for a promotion at work, or waiting to retire? Maybe you’re waiting for the pandemic to end before you take the next big step in your life. Don’t. Make the move you’ve been thinking about, the decision to go forward with your plan or project. Put what has until now only been a dream into reality.

Let me know what you’re doing in a comment below, good luck, and see you next time.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope –through the power of the Holy Spirit.”–Romans 15:13