In Psalm 73, the author contemplates whether or not he should be like those who disobey God. After all, he writes, “For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind” (v. 3-5 ESV).
The psalmist finds himself examining the lives of the ungodly. And what an easier life it seems to be. One in which the ways of God are rejected. The desires of the flesh fulfilled. The riches of the world consumed.
In fact, the psalmist continues, “Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence” (v. 12-13 ESV).
“Have a seat. We’ll call for you shortly,” they say. Open a magazine or two. Ruffle through the newspaper. Scroll through Facebook. And watch some news on a tiny television. Welcome to the waiting room.
It can’t get much worse than this, folks. The waiting room sits among the most dreaded places on the planet. Next to the Walmart checkout line.
But how often do we find ourselves here? Not the typical waiting room decked with cushions and chairs. Rather than waiting on a doctor, we’re waiting for an answer. A cure. A job. A spouse. A friend. I think you get the point. None of us are exempt from the waiting rooms of life.
I’m surprised by the size of self-help sections in bookstores. Maybe I shouldn’t be. According to an article from The New Yorker called “Improving ourselves to death,” there’s a self-improvement industry that “takes in ten billion dollars a year.” Why? Because people everywhere—of all ethnicities, cultures, and religions—recognize a need for help.
It’s not a new concept. Consider the words of the psalmist who writes, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121:1-2 ESV).
It’s the word you hear as you stand in a long line. It’s the word you push away while you wait in traffic. What am I talking about? Patience.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience …” (Gal. 5:22 ESV). Yep. There’s the word we’re trying to avoid. But we can’t. Patience is a manifestation of the Spirit’s work in our lives. It’s not an option for the believer. But how? That’s the million-dollar question.
Let’s talk about road rage.
Decisions can be daunting. As I get older, I find myself facing more and more decisions. Knowing my decisions lay the foundation for my future, I often find myself afraid of messing up.
The natural thing to do when faced with a decision is to talk about it with someone else. But I’m learning an important lesson: people usually don’t know the answer.
For the past several weeks, I’ve been contemplating a big decision. Naturally, I’ve discussed this decision with numerous people. However, different people give me different responses. One person says this, and another person says that. In other words, if I listen to every voice, I find myself in a handful of different situations at the same time. And that means confusion.