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The Waiting Place

I'm waiting ... to get into shape.

It's a purely ridiculous notion, but I'm waiting to get my butt in gear. One day, I hope my body will refuse its default, sedentary self (the one that prefers to be loosely wrapped in flannel, huddled on the left side of my couch clutching a handful of cookies) and move toward health.

Like most, I have many good excuses against exercise. Mine include: my running pants are too tight (go figure). It's cold outside. I'm under deadline. I have children. I'm having a good hair day. I don't wanna.

But my mirror reminds me that, unless I want my thighs to look like someone smacked them around with the bumpy end of a meat tenderizer, I had better get going. When I do, I momentarily leave The Waiting Place and am always surprised to discover the creativity and joy that loiter in the fresh air.

If I were to rewrite Seuss' description of The Waiting Place to reflect my present condition, it would sound something like this:

I am – waiting for home to feel like Home

or vigor to come and inspiration to flow

or the email to come and say, "It's a go!"

or my athletic self to re-emerge with gusto

or waiting for the economy to finally blow

or waiting for my kids to grow.

I am just waiting.

Christians can be guilty of tossing scripture at those who find themselves in The Waiting Place. "Wait on the Lord," we say. "Be content in all things." I think we sometimes use these verses to plug up our whining and shove us toward (halfhearted) acceptance. Then again, there are times I pretend to be "waiting on the Lord" when I'm actually electing to be a slug.

Rather than settling into our discontentment and hoping we can somehow get comfortable in the prickly place, perhaps we should allow these seasons to spur us into action. Is it possible that God wants us to figure a way out of The Waiting Place instead of merely accepting it?

This morning, I set aside my slug-like self and dug my jogging bra out of the drawer. It wasn't a long run - and it certainly wasn't pretty - but for a few miles I simply placed one foot in front of the other.

It was cold. My running pants were still too tight. I still had deadlines. I still had children. And I still didn't wanna do it.

But I spent the next half hour doing something I haven't done in a while - moving forward. Though I literally ran in a giant circle, I momentarily left The Waiting Place. My thoughts turned to God and I considered the places we might go.

April04, 2009 at 9:45 AM

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