Daily Riches: The Practice Of Waiting (William Britton)

“Simone Weil considered patient waiting to be ‘the foundation of the spiritual life.’ And John Ortberg condemns hurry, which is the rejection of patient waiting, as ‘the great enemy of the spiritual life.’ Obviously, for me to flourish spiritually will require that I learn to wait, and like with anything else, that will require practice. I can practice waiting as I refuse to take matters into my own hands (being controlling or vengeful)–and instead wait on God to do as God see’s fit. I can practice waiting as I refuse to indulge in despair or cynicism–instead looking for evidence of God’s coming yet present Kingdom. I can practice waiting as I refuse to forge ahead when I don’t know what to do–admitting my limitations and need for help. (From the outside my waiting may look like doing nothing–but really it’s creating a space for God to do what only God can do.) I can practice waiting as I refuse to give in to temptation–refusing to insist on what I want, or feel I need–trusting the one who knows better than me what I need. I can practice waiting as I refuse to complain bitterly (or worse) curse angrily–reminding myself that things aren’t necessarily supposed to go as I planned. I can ‘sit tight’ in anticipation of something transcendent–something that transcends my oh-so-important strategy. I can practice waiting as I refuse to make happiness my primary motivation for the day. God invariably has something better than happiness in mind for me–and it’s not about me anyway. Finally, I can practice waiting as I refuse to worry. I can remind myself that God is always at work for good, that my worrying won’t add anything to that, that my rushing ahead will only make a mess and create a lot of needless anxiety.” William Britton

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Psalm 40:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think of all the things that seem “foundational” to you in your Christian life. Is waiting well one of them?
  • How can you practice waiting? Can you think of some ways to make this personal for you?
  • Are your convictions about the need to wait strong enough to cause you to wait the next time you feel like “forging ahead?”

Abba, I want to live at a the pace of god-fearer, and in a calmness that comes from taking my cues from you. Help me to make this my way in the world.

For More: Godspeed


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. My goal is to regularly give you something brief and of unique value. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. Thanks! – Bill

Daily Riches: Sticking When Things Get Tough (Joan Chittister)

“Stability says that where I am is where God is for me. More than that, stability teaches that whatever the depth of the dullness or the difficulties around me, I can, if I will simply stay still enough of heart, find God there in the midst of them. …When the monastic makes a vow of stability it is a vow designed to still the wandering heart. There comes a time in life when everyone else’s family seems to have been better than my own. …when this job, this home, this town, this family all seem irritating and deficient beyond the bearable.  …when I regret every major decision I’ve ever made. That is precisely the time when the spirituality of stability offers its greatest gift. Stability enables me to outlast the dark, cold places of life until the thaw comes and I can see new life in this uninhabitable place again. But for that to happen I must learn to wait through the winters of my life. …[Stability] says that we have an obligation to see things through until we have done for them what can be done, and, no less important, until they have done for us what can be done for us. …Stability says that we will stay with the humdrum if only to condition our souls to cope with the unfleeable in life. We stay with what, if we want to, we really could get away from so that we can come someday to cope with what we will not be able to leave. …It is not easy to continue the hard work of being here when everything around us says go there where it will be easier. It is hard to go on when it would be so much simpler just to quit. But the question becomes, what will happen to me as a person … if I don’t persist, if I don’t see this through? …In the first place, I will certainly fail to learn a great deal about myself… [and] in the second place, I will lose the opportunity to grow.” Joan Chittister

“But you, keep your head in all situations,
endure hardship”
2 Timothy 4:5

Moving From the Head to the Heart
  • Are you thinking about quitting something hard or moving on to something more exciting?
  • Do you have a history of quitting on things or people prematurely? If so, what has that cost you?
  • Could you trust instead that where you are is “where God is for you?” That God has something in mind greater than you do? …something that depends on you staying?

Abba, keep me from running after the shiny, the new, the easy.

For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister


Thanks for following and sharing “Daily Riches.” – Bill (Psalm 90:14)