In the Waiting Room with Mumford & Sons

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a potentially stressful situation:

1. I was in a doctor's waiting room.
2. Celine Dion was singing "My Heart Will Go On" very, very slowly and very, very loudly on the radio. Then again, is that song ever not slow or loud?

Fortunately, before I fell ill to "Celine-itis" (the condition of having one of her songs stuck in the head), I found a cure in another combination:

1. I had earphones & an ipod.
2. Mumford & Sons had just released their new album, Babel.

Thanks be to God.

As I listened to their lyrics, I noticed a theme in many of the songs:

I will love with urgency and not with haste

Just give me time
You know your desires and mine

I'll walk slow.
Take my hand, and help me on my way.

I will hold on with all of my might
Just promise me we'll be alright.

I will wait. I will wait for you....

There is an underlying sense of waiting: that in-between place that beckons us to slow down. It is a time period that usually has a beginning but whose ending often seems far away. Some of us may be in a joyful stage of waiting, such as pregnancy. On the other end of life, when a loved one is dying, we don't want an end to the wait. There are also everyday instances of waiting, such as in the checkout line, between the ordering and eating of a meal in a restaurant, or in a Celine-Dion-drenched doctor's office. Whatever form waiting takes for us, it often tries our patience. When the prophet Isaiah invited his readers to "wait upon the Lord" in chapter 40, he spoke to a people who were discouraged and weary. Their patience was likely worn thin, yet they were told to wait even more.

The last thing we want to hear in our impatience is that we have to wait longer. In our relationships with God, many of us go through phases where we feel like God is right there with us, speaking to us, and revealing deep truths. Then, there are days when it feels as if God were far away. It's easy to lose hope when we are tired of waiting, and we don't understand what God is teaching us. Yet God beckons us in those moments most of all to wait.

What would life look like if we embraced the waiting instead of resenting it? I think that Mumford & Sons are trying to do exactly that. The song, "I Will Wait," concludes with the words, "I'll kneel down / Wait for now / I'll kneel down / Know my ground / Raise my hands / Paint my spirit gold / Bow my head / Keep my heart slow."

Friends, though we may not know all the endings to the waitings, let us seek what we can learn in the waiting. Let us accept this precious moment not as one to try our patience but as an opportunity to grow. Put on your headphones, and live in the music--as we wait together.

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

P.S. Here's a live recording of "Below My Feet," one of the songs quoted above and a lovely prayer for the in-between times. Plus, it's just plain fun to watch them play and sing. All lyrics came from