I had promised in this Instagram post that stories and photographs from the Sahara would come out this morning, but alas– we have a surprise visitor with us tonight and I’m not quite done editing.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about why most of us hate to wait. We dislike waiting in line at the grocery store. We don’t like to wait for our meals at a restaurant. And we certainly do not enjoy waiting to hear the outcome of something in which we’re deeply invested. At the edge of our seats, completely without control over the situation, we experience a tiny bit of humiliation in the limits of our power. We already know what it is we want, but no matter how much we will we cannot make it so.

I’ve been challenged with waiting. Not just waiting with a little extra griping on the side, but waiting in full patience, fortitude, faith, and gratitude. Waiting is one of the most uncomfortable states, because we eagerly anticipate an outcome but cannot change reality with how we feel. Our emotions seem for naught as we ride their highs and lows in the midst of daily life. Most importantly, our present tasks become low in priority, and we might even begin to underperform. The act of waiting can be so overwhelming that all else fades.

So how do we wait well? I’m still figuring it out. I’m learning to take each day as it comes: to lay all my tasks before me, and to pursue excellence in each of them. The hardest thing about this is that my current tasks seem to have so little bearing on the outcomes of the thing for which I wait, so motivation alone can’t get me through. I am, instead, challenged to be faithful to my commitments; the quality of my work should be no lower simply because it fails to ease my waiting.

I desire fullness in all seasons– even in seasons of transition. I don’t want to look back and say, “This is the year when I did that great thing, and the year before that was spent wondering if I would do that great thing.” Life is ever present; needs are pressing; and the unexpected can unfold if we are willing to press forward. There are great things in every season. It is true that we are sometimes given the wait– the silence, the stillness, and even the puzzling barrier– but waiting does not have to hinder the fruit we bear. That’s our choice alone.

How do you deal with seasons of waiting?