Like it was yesterday, I remember that seventeen years ago I was waiting for “Baby Luke” to make his arrival in this world and he was taking his time about it! My doctor had calculated a St. Patrick’s Day arrival so the date easily stuck in people’s minds. A week beforehand he’d told me to finish getting ready. I was right on schedule. I went home, looked at the nesting list, and hit it hard. You know important stuff like making sure the dust accumulation on top of every light fixture in the house was eradicated.
The week flew by and on St. Patrick’s Day my doctor was disappointed when I didn’t deliver the goods. He’d never had a March 17th delivery but as much as I wanted to come through, Mother Nature wouldn’t be rushed. My friends and family were more concerned than I was. This was back in the day when Facebook, Twitter, or text messaging didn’t exist so my home phone was ringing off the hook. “What’s happening?” everyone asked.
Well let’s see, I’m guessing the baby just needs more time. He was in position, I was dilating, but with absolutely no labor pains it was anyone’s guess. What needed more time to develop and why was all part of the mystery driving my anxious family and friend’s crazy. With my nest in order I was completely out of household tasks. All that was left to do was relax.
By this time, the doctor wanted me off my feet so I read, went to the movies, cross stitched, watched television, sat in the sun, and napped. I hadn’t napped for twenty plus years so I thought my body must be in shock. I would get so sleepy reading I’d doze off. I had to undo creations more than once because I’d missed a stitch. Sitting in the sun my neighbor Suzy would wake me up when she thought I was getting overexposed. It was glorious. I felt like a fat cat lounging around all day.
In the meantime, everyone around me worried. A couple days past my due date the doctor decided he wanted to see me every other morning to monitor my blood pressure and blood sugar. My parents were pacing. My girlfriends and co-workers were stopping by. The waiting was driving everyone nuts but I was oddly content. A good rest seemed long overdue.
At first, I didn’t realize how tired I was. I thought that the cleaning frenzy had just wiped me out but after a few days I realized it was more than that. I was catching up on a year of hard work. It wasn’t the baby that required more time it was his mama! Luke was fine I was the one that needed to sit and yield to what God and nature were doing.
It wasn’t an easy pregnancy and work demands had taken their toll. All the eyes were dotted and tees crossed but an organized expectant mother doesn’t mean she’s actually ready. The “glow” was increased blood flow not a surplus of energy and God knew this. He knew the quiet time was necessary and that waiting wouldn’t kill me or anyone else.
Waiting is not something we usually equate with resting. We denigrate waiting to idling and empty out all the value of the experience. Phrases like “hurry up and wait”, “waiting around”, and “killing time” all suggest there is little merit to a pause.
In today’s world waiting almost never lends itself to resting because we have too much technology at our fingertips. In waiting rooms everyone has their cell phone out and they’re talking, texting, or Tweeting. Even at stop lights people don’t just stop, they stop and look at their text messages. Nothing needs to be said about how dangerous this is.
Unfortunately, this mentality creeps into our spiritual life where resting is of great importance. We don’t like this posture because it’s feel passive. When the scriptures say, “Be still and know that I am God” we cherish the reminder as it relates to God’s sovereignty and conveniently ignore the all encompassing principle. God is telling us to be still so that we become aware of what He is doing and when ready – participate in it.
Waiting does not have to be agonizing. The possibility of it being a renewing experience however, depends on your mindset. If you view waiting as an opportunity to rest and be transformed, it won’t feel like you are killing time. If you see it as a waste of time you will be exhausted by it, and push past your limits only to collapse into your future.
It was unusual that I didn’t pace the floor waiting on Luke but with the doctor insisting I stay off my feet I had little choice. I didn’t know I would spend the next ten days like that. If someone told me then, I had that long of a wait I would have been very upset. Ten whole days are you kidding me? I’m about to pop! I desperately needed it though. In that holding pattern I started to make the shift from a doing-woman to a being-woman which was vital. Motherhood is more about who you are than what you can get done. Luke would need his Mom to have her mind intact more than her list. Rest made that possible.
In the end, I am forever grateful that Luke waited on the remainder of my development before his big arrival. I will always fall behind my seventeen year old, in this regard, because what God and every parent knows is that children can be our best teachers. As Luke would now say, “he schooled me”. Happy 17th big guy!