Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Poison Ivy

A few weeks ago our pastor preached on being in a "waiting room" of life. He asked us all to ponder whether or not we felt like we were in a waiting room. Were we waiting for a better job? Were we waiting for kids? Were we waiting for our spouse to fix some problem we were convinced they had?  It took me a second to think about it, but I realized pretty quickly that I was in a waiting room.

At the time I was waiting for the school year to end. It was in the thick of testing and craziness (hence why this post is weeks late!) and I was waiting for it to end. I think most teachers can agree with me that the last month of school is pure madness, but the knowledge that the end is near keeps us going. The problem is that we just keep going. Many of us don't have the energy to continue to minister to our students as we should.

While this is just my example, I'm sure we can all think of other examples. Are you waiting for that beach vacation? Are you waiting for the weekend? Are you waiting for that next project at work? I think many of us are in some sort of waiting room. The better question than asking if you're in a waiting room is, what are you doing in that waiting room?

Once I realized my waiting room I realized what a horrible patient I was. You know the type who sits in the room waiting for the doctor, complaining the entire time about not being the doctor's number one priority. The annoying one y'all want to run from. That was me for a month. My sweet husband had mentioned it (gosh I sure do hate when he's right!), but instead of me taking his constructive criticism and trying to fix the problem I allowed myself to continue to dwell in it. Our pastor had a great quote, "complaining is like poison ivy. The more you scratch at it, the worse it gets." Meaning, the more you do it, the worse it seems. He couldn't have been more accurate about the waiting room I was in. Not only was I in a waiting room, but my poison ivy was spreading.

My waiting room has come and gone, but that doesn't mean another one won't rear its ugly head. I am challenging myself to not let poison ivy spread next time I am in a sticky situation. I am challenging myself to not allow myself to get stuck in a waiting room. I am challenging myself to be missional and purposeful despite the challenges around me. I ask that y'all hold me to that and try it for yourself. Find your waiting room and instead of scratching your poison ivy, witness God's love for us to those around you!


  1. I like the poison ivy analogy. It's dead on...I've gotta stop scratching my own poison ivy. Love this post. Glad your waiting room is over!

  2. "complaining is like poison ivy. The more you scratch at it, the worse it gets." I just wrote that on my whiteboard at work as a reminder. Awesome post!