I hate waiting.
Well it’s not that I hate waiting, it’s that I hate waiting longer than I think I should have to.
I went to the Corner Bakery to pick up an order I had phoned in so I wouldn’t have to wait. I ended up waiting longer than I wanted to because the cashier was too busy chatting up other customers about their days.
I never pick the correct line at the grocery store. I always pick the line where somebody disputes a price, somebody writes a check or somebody has an expired Costco membership that he swears his mom just paid.
I don’t use the horn on my car very often unless someone doesn’t move when the light changes.
I know that Jesus keeps giving me opportunities to show patience and he will continue to do so until I actually start showing patience. Acknowledging the problem is the first step, though, so I’m well on my way.
I don’t always hate waiting, though. Yesterday, after waiting nine months, my sister finally went into labor. After waiting throughout the day for her to give birth, my newest niece took her first breath and entered the world.
I didn’t mind waiting for her at all because I knew the payoff was worth the wait.
I’ve written about it before, but I love being an uncle. It’s one of my favorite roles. I love hanging out with my nieces and nephew: playing with them, laughing with them and even changing dirty diapers. Yesterday I had tears in my eyes as my sister’s older daughter met her new baby sister for the first time. I love my nieces and nephew so much that I can’t even comprehend how much I’m going to love my own children.
As a youth pastor I see the value in investing in the next generation. Even if I wasn’t a youth pastor, I’d hope that my nieces and nephew would inspire me to invest in the lives of children and teenagers. We all need to have the desire to invest and guide young people. Someone did it for us and we should do it for someone else. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, youth pastor and church leaders did it for me, the least I can do is invest and guide my students and my nieces and nephew.
Picard invested in Wesley (even though he was annoying).
Yoda invested in Obi-Wan who, in turn, invested in Luke.
Gandalf invested in Frodo.
Giles invested in Buffy.
Dumbledore invested in Harry.
We admire these characters who took time to invest in someone younger than themselves. We have an even greater opportunity because the people we invest in are real-life humans who, with the right amount of investment and guidance, can make a real difference in the real world.
Who invested in you? How are you passing that onto others?