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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Monday, May 18

I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him.
—Psalm 130:4

In Spanish, the verb esperar means both “to wait” and “to hope.” I often wonder, living in San Antonio, Texas—a city strongly influenced by Mexican history and culture—if waiting for a native Spanish speaker has a different quality.

We English speakers are often impatient. We like to make things happen. Our dominant culture here in the United States is very goal/task oriented. We spend a lot of time figuring out mission statements and vision statements for our churches and our organizations.

All of that future orientation has its own good qualities. And yet we also have no practice in waiting. Waiting for us feels like wasting time, as if time were ours to waste.  We live in time, and our lives are marked by calendar observances. We tend to lurch from one season to another, barely having put away Christmas decorations when the Valentine’s hearts appear in the local grocery store.

Time is not something we create, nor is it something we produce. Wait, counsel the writers of the psalms. Wait in hope. Wait gently, patiently. Wait with an open heart, with quiet listening. Let God speak within the movement of your day. Stop and sit and wait. Notice what you see, hear, taste, touch, smell. Allow eternity to break through the inexorable rush of tick-tock time.

Wait, and in the waiting discover your soul, the part of you that is not bound by time, by goals, by tasks, but gently hopes to savor this life and your time on earth.

May I learn to wait in hope, and to hope when I need to wait.

The Signposts for May originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.