So, are you a good “waiter”?  I’m guessing that most of us have our favorite restaurants that we like to frequent.  And while most of the time the impetus for our return is for the good food often times we go back because we simply like the people there, in particular certain waiters and waitresses.  At least that has been the case for our family over the years.  When I think about the characteristics of some of our fondest “waiter friends” I can’t help but think about their typical greeting, “Hi, I’m _______ and I’ll be serving you this evening.”  Or I think about their forthrightness to take the first step in conversation or their genuine desire to see that we are satisfied with our meal.  For those we’ve come to know more closely they might even ask about our family. And then there’s the traditional closing question, “Is there anything else I can get for you this evening, Mr. Thurman?” 

Well in many ways the necessities of life casts us into the role of “waiters” too.  After all, isn’t much of life spent waiting on someone or something?  Perhaps, it’s as simple as waiting on the guests to arrive for the evening’s dinner or something as dramatic for some as “waiting for your ship to come in.”  For many waiting can become a “trial of waiting” as one wait’s for the test results to come in or for clarity on what the next best steps are to take in life.  If you’re like me however you’re probably not so good at waiting.  Impatience, a need to know and to know now, instant gratifications, maybe even instant riches are at the heart of our inability to wait with any measure of patience.  Can’t you just imagine what an encounter with the waiter would be like if they took on these characteristics?  “Hi, I’m _______.  I need to know what you want to eat and I need to know it now.  And I need you to pay me now and prepay me my tip while you’re at it. ” Wow, my guess is you wouldn’t be headed back to that restaurant any time soon.

So, is there anything we can learn about waiting on life from the “waiter?”  I think there is.  You see in some ways we live to wait while the waiter “waits” to live.  What if in our waiting periods we sought to live?  What if during these times we engaged life to serve others, to see to it that others were comforted and were finding a sense of satisfaction in life through our service?  Perhaps we might take the simple first steps to authentically inquire about the well being of others (and their family).  And then maybe to take  “one more step” to see to it that we’ve done all we can do to help others find a measure of fulfillment in their life.  I’m curious. Could it be that as we serve and care for others, even as we wait patiently for our own life’s answers, we might find our strength renewed?  After all the trial of waiting demands we remain strong for ourselves and for others.  Peace.