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  • Writer's pictureRick Wadholm Jr

Wait For It!

Who among you would say they are good at being patient for things? I guess to some degree it depends on what we are having to be patient for.


Christmas, for many, is a time of anticipation and excitement. The waiting game until Christmas morning, especially for children eager to unwrap their presents, can feel interminable. When I was 13 years old I was up late one night playing Playstation. As I was playing the glimmer of the Christmas lights glimmered exquisitely over the presents that were laid out underneath the tree. I had an intrusive thought come to mind that I could not shake…”what if I opened up one of my presents to see what it was. I could easily wrap it up and no one would know the difference.” This is an intrusive thought that I should have just ignored but my impatience was rampant that night and I let the thought win the war in my mind. So I opened up one of my presents and was overjoyed with what I found. I wish I could say that this was the end of my madness and I was able to wrap the present backup and was able to continue the night. However, that is not the case. The hit of dopamine that came with opening up my gift was intoxicating and I began to open up every present that I had. It didn’t stop there though and I opened up every present that my brothers had under the tree. I also severely underestimated my ability to wrap presents and so early the next morning I woke up to my mother not being very happy with what had gone down. I, of course, was grounded for quite some time and experienced internalized shame for years after this. I’d like to say that I’m a much more patient man now than I was back then but I’m still not good at waiting for things. 


Similarly, in Acts 1:12-26, we find the apostles and disciples in a state of anticipation and patience. Having witnessed the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, they awaited the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Their example teaches us valuable lessons about patience, community, and prayer in times of uncertainty.


In a time of uncertainty, the apostles and early followers of Jesus set a powerful example for us to emulate. Three key actions stand out:


1.      Staying Together: The unity of the believers was paramount. Despite the uncertainty of the times, they remained together, steadfast in their commitment to the cause they believed in. This unity wasn't mere proximity; it was a deep bond forged by their shared experiences and faith in the resurrected Messiah. In our lives, too, remaining unified with fellow believers is essential, even when theological differences arise.

2.      Devotion to Prayer: Prayer was not just a side activity for the early believers; it was central to their lives. As they gathered in the upper room, they devoted themselves to fervent prayer, aligning their hearts and minds with God's purposes. Their collective prayers yielded powerful results, demonstrating the potency of communal prayer in the life of the believer.

3.      Obedience to Scripture: In the absence of clear direction, the apostles turned to Scripture for guidance. They didn't idle away their time but instead continued to engage in the work God had already revealed to them. Their obedience to the teachings of Scripture propelled them forward, even amidst uncertainty. This led them to pick Matthias as the replacement for Judas Iscariot (although some would argue that the apostles were impatient to pick another apostle and should have just waited for Paul). 

The importance of these actions cannot be overstated. We need both God and each other in our journey of faith. Through community, we experience tangible grace, resolve conflicts in a Christ-honoring manner, and deepen our communion with God. Waiting patiently, praying together, and obeying God's word are not passive activities but rather essential components of a vibrant, faith-filled life.

In our own lives, we are called to wait in community, pray fervently, and obediently follow God's word. Like impatient children itching to unwrap their presents prematurely, we may feel tempted to rush ahead of God's timing. However, learning to wait patiently, slowing down, and seeking God's direction alongside our brothers and sisters in faith yield far greater rewards than any hasty pursuit of our desires.

So when you aren't sure of the Lord’s direction, will you rush ahead, steamrolling the waiting process like I did with all of the presents on Christmas when I was thirteen? Or will you choose to wait, slow down, pray, and obediently follow Jesus alongside your sisters and brothers?

In the waiting, in the uncertainty, let us learn the art of patience from those who have gone before us, trusting in the faithfulness of our God who is always at work, even in the stillness.

– Very Rev. Lee Cormier, Canon for Formation and Discipleship  

Missio Mosaic: A Missional Society

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