Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Hate to Wait!

We now have tickets for our furlough travels next year.  Now that they are in hand I'm wondering why the process of purchasing them was so excruciating for me! 

It took seven weeks from sending my initial email of enquiry until the day the tickets arrived in my inbox.  For someone who hates to wait, that's a long time!  (If you're wondering why it took so long, it's partly that there are many factors to consider when visiting people on three different continents, and when paying for the tickets involves three different currencies.)

Of all the painful and stressful events in the world, why was I letting the small issue of waiting for plane tickets become such a big factor in my life?  Why do I find waiting so hard anyway?  I know that my inattentive/impulsive tendencies are a factor but what is it specifically that makes waiting such a big deal for me?


© User:Lokshen3ace / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

I don't know if I got them all, but I sat and listed the things that can make waiting so difficult:

*Fear that something will 'run out'.  This could be cheaper tickets, or the time I have left before I have to be somewhere.

*Fear that the thing I'm waiting for will never happen.  This fear is often irrational: the chance that a bus will never come, or that we'll never get tickets is pretty remote!

*Fear of something going wrong that will delay the waiting further.  In the case of the tickets, one fear was there would be a problem with the payment method.

*Annoyance because of wanting my time to be used more efficiently. 

In some cases I have no idea why I don't like waiting.  Even if I'm not feeling hungry, I impatiently wait for the trolley carrying meals on a plane to slowly trundle my way.  I don't know why it's stressful for me to sit waiting for an event to start even when I have friends to chat to, when it wouldn't be at all stressful to be talking to those same friends in a non-waiting situation.  Perhaps stopping to remind myself that it isn't actually a problem if I have to wait a bit longer will be helpful in future :-)

Early on in the process of buying the tickets, I read Paul Tripp's blog post about the good things that can come out of waiting.  I was challenged to deal with the difficulties of waiting in a more positive way.

Over those seven weeks of waiting, I discovered that the antidote to my hatred of waiting was Trust.  Over and over again I had to choose Trust:

I needed to Trust that God is our provider.

I needed to Trust God to work out the details, even if I made mistakes along the way.

I needed to Trust in God's timing.

Several times I surrendered the whole thing to Him, placing all the arrangements in his hands. 

And on various occasions I saw that leaving it with him yielded much better results.

As I was waiting for news that payment had gone through, I had a thought: What if it turned out to be better that things were taking so long?  What if we even managed to get cheaper tickets because of waiting to purchase them until a particular date?   That same afternoon, I got an email from the travel agent informing me about a new type of fare that had only just been released; I discovered we could save a substantial amount of money by choosing this new fare!

Yes, I really do need to Trust in God's timing!

The waiting for tickets is over but I know that as we make arrangements for our upcoming trip, and as we set off on numerous journeys, I'll have plenty of opportunities to put into practice the concept of waiting well.