In a Hurry Losing Time: Learning How to Wait

An athlete knows the difference between a game plan and a live game. So we can trust that God will always give us opportunities to live out the Truths he is teaching us.

About 15 years ago, I exited an elevator along with several others onto the third floor of a medical building enroute to a mid-afternoon appointment with a new doctor for a routine check up. This was during a time that God was increasing my understanding to wait on him - to make wise choices, then to give up the ownership for the outcomes to him. Since my schedule for the day was tight, I had taken particular care during the early morning to be renewed in faith, also in wisdom to be prudent with my time, which is the reason I had called the doctor’s office an hour earlier to confirm my appointment and to check for directions.

It was also the reason I thought to walk a little faster leaving the elevator in case others were also headed for room 324, and so that I could sign in first. Successfully pushing through the door just ahead of another fast-walking man, and after signing in, I took a seat to fill out a form for new patients. I recall thanking God for the peace and confidence I had that he was very much present in my life and would be involved not only in the outcome of the check up, but also to maximize the redemptive use of my time. Sure enough, an office assistant soon called my name. But, as it turned out, it was only to say that her records did not show I had an appointment and to ask if I was certain of my time. I declared calmly and matter-of-factly that, yes, I was certain, and had, in fact, called earlier to confirm my information for time and directions. Apparently I was so persuasive that the young assistant seemed almost apologetic for even asking.

Still, I sat waiting for another 10, 20, then 30 minutes. It occurred to me that God was giving me an opportunity to practice trusting in his timing and care, maybe a fiery trial for my good. But after 45 minutes, I spoke again to the office assistant. My earnest concern for lost time seemed to motivate a response. After only an additional few minutes, she called my name, guided me to a back room, and promised that the doctor would see me in a moment or so. Looking around the gray-colored room, I saw large instruments and contraptions that I had never seen before and wondered what their relevance would be to my routine check up. After another short delay, I heard voices outside the door - a man’s voice and several female voices - then some giggling. Directly, the doctor walked in. He was smiling and seemed pleasant enough, so I was glad for things to finally be moving along.

“Mr. Whisnant,” he said after introducing himself, “Do you have a sense of humor?”

“Yes, I think so,” I answered.

This guy is going to be fun, I thought.

“Well, I hope so,” he said, “because you are in the wrong office. The doctor you want to see is across the hall in 324. You are in 321.”

Looking at my startled face, he grinned. “We have already called, and they are waiting on you.”

In disbelief, I sat shaking my head and staring at the smiling doctor, then slowly stood up to leave. “But if you ever have hemorrhoids,” he said patting me on the back, “come see me.”

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8F02