Dave and I went to Croatia in June to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Due to airline scheduling, we needed to spend a night in Paris at the beginning and end of our trip. If you have to layover overnight, Paris is a wonderful place to do so. I wrote about our 24 hours in Paris at the beginning of our trip. Our stay on the way home was more leisurely. We spent time at the Trocadero and walked to the Eiffel Tower and along the adjoining park, which holds special memories of our visit with the boys five years ago.
Paris, once again, was lovely. Then we tried to go home.
Having checked through our large pieces of luggage, we only had our carry-ons. We decided to be economical and take the train to the airport. Trains in France don’t always run on time. Five years ago, as we took a train out of the city to Normandy, we were delayed an hour or two because of a strike.
When we got to the train station, there were no strikes, but shortly into our ride we were informed protestors had blocked the station near the French Open. Our train needed to pass through that station. We waited on the train for about 30 minutes. They were beginning to clear the protestors but it would be at least 45 minutes before they expected the train to leave. We had allowed time to get to the airport but were losing our buffer. We decided to leave the train and take an Uber to the airport.
We were not the only one with this idea. The first Uber we booked said it “couldn’t find” us. I think what they “found” was a more expensive fare since surge pricing had set in as more people left the station. It took us awhile to book another Uber. A young guy who had helped translate the announcements on the train for us was also trying to get to the airport. We offered to share our Uber. He had 10 euros on him (the ride ended up costing close to 70).
We finally get in the car and on the highway when traffic begins slowing. We are in stop and go traffic many kilometers away from the airport. There was an accident ahead on the freeway.
The gentleman who was traveling with us was already in a panic. He didn’t stop looking at his phone and making phone calls the entire way there. Dave and I were sitting in the back seat. Dave also kept checking the traffic and ETA to the airport. He was nervous we were going to miss our flight, which was becoming a real possibility.
I just looked out the window.
The reality was that I could do nothing to control when we arrived at the airport. When we got there, we would make a mad dash to get to our gate. But until then, I couldn’t do a thing. I could only wait.
We experience many different forms of waiting. Sometimes with anticipation; other times with unease. Sometimes our waiting is active. I’m going to Central America in February. While I wait, I am learning Spanish, getting vaccinations, and learning more about the countries I will travel to. I can stay busy during my wait.
But other times, our waiting is passive — like in a car you’re not driving in traffic you can’t control. Or waiting for biopsy results, an important phone call, or the decision of others. In these times, we’ve done all we can do. We can only wait.
Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34 (CEB)
I suppose these words of Jesus could be disheartening for they are a reminder that every day does have some form of trouble. But to me, they are hopeful words. Jesus challenges me to not consume myself with what might be or dwell on the worst case scenario. Jesus reminds me to be present to what is before me and focus my energy on what I can influence. These words remind me I am not in control and worry is not going to grant me control.Jesus challenges me to not consume myself with what might be or dwell on the worst case scenario — a reminder to be present rather than lost to worry in the midst of waiting. #peace #trust Click To Tweet
God’s creation of time ensured that waiting would be part of the human experience. We have a choice, however, on what we do in our times of waiting. Sometimes there is action we can take, but often the length of our wait and the outcome are out of our control. Will we fill that time with worry or live in the present moment?
Before Jesus teaches us about worry in Matthew 6:34, Jesus teaches us how to approach our life.
Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33 (CEB)
These words are a reminder of what matters most – they are a guide to our thoughts and actions. When I feel out of control, there is still a Rock on which I stand. Jesus’ words are not a guarantee that all will turn out as we would like. Instead, they are a reminder of God’s provision and love that hems in our times of waiting and trouble.
We made it to the airport in time to catch our flight. If we hadn’t, worry wouldn’t have provided us with an alternative plan to get home (which would have included more waiting). May we allow times of waiting to be opportunities to be present in the moment, responding to trouble when and if it comes.
It’s Friday again! Today’s Five-Minute Friday word prompt is wait. You can read what others had to say here.