A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith


Waiting and other distractions

posted by Linda G. Howard

I admit that there are some things that I do pretty well.  These are things at which I work hard to do as well as I can.  They are also things I enjoy.  My list seems to grow as I get older.  I enjoy writing, gardening, children, playing, teaching and administration.

There are several things that I don’t enjoy, however.  One is waiting.  As much waiting as I’ve done in my life, you would think that I would have acquired a likin’ for the process but I still rebel like a 13-year-old when I have to wait for longer than one minute.

There are some things that I’ve found that are worse than waiting, however.  Several of them are

  1. Having other people have to wait on me.
  2. Having the people who are waiting for me blow the horn of their car.
  3. Having my husband have to wait on me.
  4. Having my husband who is waiting for me blow the horn of the car.

Recently I watched The Special Gathering of South Carolina program director.  Special Gathering is a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our mission is evangelism and discipleship for people who are developmentally disabled.  The SC director was working to get three of her members who are visiting our home in Florida ready for a day at Magic Kingdom in Disney.  She was reduced to waiting.  ”You would think that I’d be used to it by now,” she commented in passing.

Our conversation quickly deteriorated to the other times we have waited for our members.  It takes half a day to load a 12 passenger van with people.  Add luggage and you better plan to spend the day waiting.  A buffet line can take up to four hours, depending on whether the person in front of you wants everything, wants nothing or changes her mind 37 times before putting the first thing on her plate.   In essence, we decided that waiting is one outgrowth of special needs ministry that will either make us stronger or break our strength.  While this list may not be spiritual, it is benefitial.

There are some things that you can do while waiting:

  1. Clean your fingernails.  Cleaning toenails is not recommended.
  2. Pick your teeth.  Picking someone else’s teeth is not recommended.
  3. Prayer at the beginning of the process is recommended.
  4. Praying by the end of the process is not recommended because the prayers you will find yourself praying will not promote spiritual growth.
  5. Playing mind games is recommended.
  6. Playing video or on-line games is not recommended.  The length of time you will spend playing the game while waiting will put you on such a high level that you will want to cancel the activity and spend the rest of your day playing games.
  7. People observing is recommended as long as you are not looking at your members trying to get ready.

If you are not in special needs ministry, these rules are easily adapted to almost any waiting process.  Therefore, it is recommended that you  make a copy of this list and tuck it into a shirt pocket for easy reference to read the next time you are waiting.  Additonally, it will give you an eighth thing to do while you are waiting.



  • http://personal tom fellner

    Linda, I heard of your husband’s passing into eternal life recently. I too believe there is no contradiction between “science” and the miracle of God”s love and the salvation of Jesus as did your husband. Wishing you all the best

    • http://specialgathering.wordpress.com Linda G. Howard

      Thank you so much, Tom. He was a good man who loved Jesus. As one pastor said at his memorial service. The Navy’s motto is “If it doesn’t move, paint it.” But Frank’s motto was “If it does move, witness to it.”

  • http://waiting tom fellner

    The waiting room of the hospital, called the “reception” area is one of the most challenging periods. If i am by myself, the first thing i do is find the tv remote and turn the box to off. As busy as my mind is, i can use the silence to pray and relax. When staff come by, they are perplexed if i answer “no, thanks” to their attempt to turn the tv back on. That is always gratifying. God my be suggesting to us to slow down or remind us that things will (his) be done as they should be. Now i can better choose to not wait(what is more important, the supermarket line or my time) or be peaceful and use the time to be “alone” in a crowd

    • http://specialgathering.wordpress.com Linda G. Howard

      Thanks, Tom. I also want to turn off the TV in all waiting rooms. Waiting can be a profitable time used for much more than my silly list. I somehow can’t seem to get the knack of it, though. Of course, God does want our minds and hearts to be still and, for that reason, I appreciate your comment even more.

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