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Acts 1:4-5
On one occasion, while he [Jesus] was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Waiting is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, I think it’s one of the hardest. In this case, I doubt the disciples had any clue what it would mean to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” But they understood waiting and they understood this command to wait would test their trust and their faith. I always wonder if they all waited or did some fall away?

People usually use a period of waiting to fantasize about the end results (and generally, the result they themselves want). They begin imagining what the end of waiting will be like without living fully within the waiting period itself. I have come to believe that waiting is an active time. Waiting is a time of introspection and evaluation. Waiting itself is productive within.

Looking back over my life, I can see how many mistakes could have been avoided just by exercising a little waiting. But I have always been in a such a hurry for the next experience. As I grow older, I have been getting a little better at waiting, just because I have been forced to practice. And slowly, I see its merits and enter this time more willingly.

There is a popular phrase used by many Christians: “I am waiting on God…” Sometimes, it feels like they are in an outer office waiting for an appointment with a busy God who’ll fit them in when possible. They are passing the time, reading magazines, watching TV, or listening to their ipods. There is no relationship with the One on the other side of the door. While others simply use the phrase as a way to avoid making any decision at all. If one waits long enough, a decision is usually made for you. This method is rather passive aggressive in my book.

Waiting on God has no value in my mind unless it comes with contemplative study, prayer and worship.

This is true for the individual as well as a group. But I have very little experience with group waiting. I’m still working on the first hurdle. But that’s coming. Group waiting is even more difficult because the everyone needs to let go of their personal agendas and allow the best result for the group as a whole emerge: more patience, love, sacrifice, and trust.

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