I have two kids. They are marvelous little humans who consistently show me new things about myself, about life, and about God. They are growing up, which I am daily appreciative of. But I do feel like my mommy heart is missing phases we have just graduated from even though I am always looking forward to the next stage. It’s a weird place to be but I think a lot of parents can understand that tension with me…right?

They have reached the days when they are relatively tech independent and can control our tablets, phones, and gaming consoles without assistance from me or my husband. This is both a relief and a fresh worry. (Yay parent controls!)

The other day, while my son was enjoying his last day of winter break binging, I noticed he was keeping the Xbox controller turned on even after he began his episode. Frustrated at this frivolity, and realizing why I am constantly being berated for batteries, I told him to turn it off.

He obeyed, but then I noticed the same controller back on around 8 minutes later. Que mom rage. Yes, I get there quickly sometimes. I decided to wait with the verbal reprimands and observe further to see why he was determined to send me shopping for AAs.

That’s when I noticed it. When an episode of a program ends, Netflix gives you a certain amount of time to decide if you want to switch programs. At the end of that time, it just begins the next episode for you. Pretty convenient if you ask me. However, not convenient enough for my nine-year-old. He was keeping the controller on to press “begin next episode” instead of waiting for the 14 seconds that Netflix allotted. He could not wait the 14 seconds! What?! This kid.

I see this inability or unwillingness to wait in so many areas of life. It seems that we are creating systems that help us be more efficient while surrendering some of the very tools that create patience. In trying to teach my own family the power of patience, of waiting without complaining, I find myself purposely denying them the easy and immediate in order for them to build up those patience muscles.

Right now, I am currently in prayer for several big things happening in my life. I feel that same desire to just skip to the answer, the resolution, the healing, the growth moment now. I too, need to grow my patience muscles. I need to learn to just wait. Wait on the Lord, wait on my growth process, wait on people to learn how instead of just doing it myself. Patience is hard. But if we can just wait, sometimes that’s where we find the Lord’s voice.

Waiting creates anticipation, an awareness, a focus that we may not experience in the moment of possession. Once we have what we want, we are onto the next.

My heart for myself this year is to know God more than ever before. Yes, I want to get healthier, spend wiser, and read more books. But the beat of my heart is to know God for real, not just of Him or a second-hand account of Him.

For me, I know this means I need to wait. Take it slow. Knowing God takes time. A lifetime actually. We can spend our entire lifetime pursuing God and still discover more of who He is. If we lose the ability to exercise patience, we may miss this. We may give up after we know a few Bible stories, or have a few mountain top experiences during worship and turn to something that doesn’t take as much effort.

Just wait. Keep searching for who and how He is. There’s more to discover.

Candace Cortez is the Youth Pastor at Koinonia Church. Any comments can be sent to: candace@kchanford.com.

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