THIRTY DAYS OF THANKS AND GIVING.
DAY 17: WEIGHTING PATIENTLY
With age comes waiting. Specifically waiting in waiting rooms. Last week my friend accompanied me to my appointment at the eye clinic. Okay, she was my designated driver. There. I said it. I’ve reached the age where DD means someone to drive you home from yet another old lady procedure. This time it was because my eyes had to be dilated to the size of a small planet so the doctor could obliterate scar tissue with his lightsaber. The upside of aging is how many Star Wars references you can find in your medical treatment. Don’t take that galactic delight away from me. I’m holding on to what I can.
This particular eye appointment involved two level service. My friend and I found a social distance safe place in the large waiting room. They called me back. The tech got all her info and measurements. Then I was sent to the OTHER waiting room! It was smaller and full of patients. Only patients. So basically, the “entrance” waiting room was just a chauffeur’s lounge and the “patient” waiting room was a petri dish of eye abnormalities.
I sat down and tried my very hardest to not get sucked into waiting room talk. I’m only fifty-six years old. I’m not ready to do the “they should’ve scheduled better” banter. I was surrounded by people who seemed twice my age and yet, like me, had failing eyesight. Que voice of James Earl Jones saying, “Christine, this is your destiny.” I started spiraling and bit holes in my tongue to keep from engaging in the sideline coaching of medical procedure teams.
It’s not that I’m impatient. I’m a patient patient. It’s anxiety. What is the domino effect of this delay? I’m inconveniencing my friend who drove me. It’s going to be late when I get home and I still have housework to do. The staff is tired and ready to go. And….
as long as I’m the last one sitting here, why don’t I just cook up some really ridiculous stuff and text it to my friend in the chauffeur’s lounge. I am neither confirming or denying that I actually had the following thoughts:
“WHAT IS LEFTOVER IN THIS WAITING ROOM???”
“What if there are eye worms or boll weevil parasites in here and I’m just waiting for them to crawl out of the chair into my cornea?”
“What if there is an eye version of airborne flesh eating disease? Retina eating disease?”
“Can you get pneumonia in your eyes?”
“The doctor’s finger is going to slip on the laser beam trigger and it will cut through my eye and lay siege to my brain.”
I didn’t get that last text through before she shut me down with, “my phone is dying.”
Did she have to mention dying??
I was in another waiting room today that had exercise equipment and I looked down and saw some 10lb dumbbells. They made me think of the weight of waiting. I’m not good at it. I am not. I don’t like to wait. I don’t want to wait for my car to be fixed or for this fog to be lifted from my mood. I don’t want to wait for the world to go back to our “before COVID normal”. I want to drive the car. I want to smile for no reason. I want to walk into work without a mask on.
Athletes are disciplined with dumbbells. They pick them up, lift them in steady repetitions, and benefit with increased strength and stamina. I need to quit being a dummy and pick up the dumbbells. Whether I wait calmly or anxiously… I still have to wait the same amount of time. I need to find what can be managed and just lift that one thing over and over until it’s time to move on. I need strength and stamina, not irrational thoughts and insatiable “what if’s”.
I’m thankful for the dumbbells that remind me about the benefits of discipline. I’m really thankful for my very patient friend. I’m thankful that God knows best what we are waiting for and how long we should wait. If you are struggling with the weight of waiting, I challenge you to lift up your eyes and see what IS good and what IS working. Lift your concerns to the Lord like an athlete lifts their weights and be blessed with the benefit of spiritual strength and stamina.
Isaiah 40:31 -“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”