I‘m currently sitting in the passenger seat of our minivan. My family and I are heading to San Diego along the Pacific Coast Highway—picture sandy beaches, turquoise waves high-fiving craggy cliffs, massive boulders jutting out otherworldly straight out the water. Sunny skies with a high of 73. Umbrellas polka-dotting the coast, begging from us to stop and sit.
My son is behind me, whining like a pressure cooker about to burst, waiting for his turn to read Calvin and Hobbes. His older sister keeps reminding him it’s almost his turn—”I’m almost done, Reed. Just a few more pages.”
Reed can barely contain himself. He’s squirming, squealing, almost red in the face as he does his absolute best to wait his turn to read his favorite book.
It’s proving rather difficult.
“Look out the window, Reed. Isn’t this beautiful?” I say. It doesn’t work—he screams “No!” and starts crying. He’s focused on his Precious, the comic book he’d rather stare at any day over waves and sand. (He’s also hungry and a little sleep-deprived.)
My six-year-old is focused on what he doesn’t have instead of what he does. Five minutes feels like an eternity, the thing he wants most is just a foot away from him, and it feels like nobody in the car knows the agony he feels. Totally normal for a kid.
We have lunch under an umbrella’d picnic table, a clan of Oregonians letting the sun thaw our feet and rub balm on our souls. I enjoy the salty wind. And as I eat, my son makes me wonder if I’m squirming, near red in the face, waiting for something impatiently and totally missing the shady umbrella right over me. Maybe so.
How often do I miss the beauty of now because I’m waiting on something I just can’t have right now? Are there sunny skies I could revel in as I wait for the next thing, but am so focused on that next thing that I miss them completely?
I wonder. Then I clean up our lunch plates, we head back to the car, veer back on to the highway, and pass Reed the book. Whining silences, now absorbed into the pages while the coastline continues.
What are you waiting on? Is there a fervent prayer request of yours that, as of yet, has been answered with a simple “wait”? Are you feeling stuck in a spot and you’d like to leave, but you just can’t right now? Might there be a chance God’s giving you an umbrella to rest under while you wait for your Precious?
Might He be your Precious while you wait? Maybe He is that umbrella, those foamy waves drawing lines along the cliffs, the salty breeze.
Calvin and Hobbes comics are great. They’re worth waiting for. But as you wait for your turn to read, unclench your fists, take a few deep breaths, and look around at your here and now. There just might be beauty to be found, a scene to watch out your window as time passes.
What are you waiting on right now? What’s beautiful while you wait?