The LPC e-pistle is designed for the friends and families of Langhorne Presbyterian Church and any others who happen by. Pastor Bill Teague shares weekly comments on the world, the life of faith and Langhorne Church. A weekly e-mail, sent by request, keeps members up to date on news and prayer concerns within the congregation. Langhorne Presbyterian Church is a warm, Christ-honoring congregation, and we’d love to have you stop by for a visit if you’re ever in our neighborhood. You can get directions to LPC here.
The appointment was for 11:15. I expected to be in and out in maybe fifteen minutes. All the doctor was going to do was confirm the lab results and say, “See you in a year.” In fact, that is exactly what happened, except for the fifteen minutes part. Oh, I may have been with the him for 90 seconds, but I was in the waiting room for nearly 90 minutes. Sure, pass on your “I can top that” story.
The staff was understanding and when I finally saw him and before he said anything else, the doctor apologized. The fact of the matter is that he was not off saving a life or counseling a distraught patient who had just received very bad news. The fact of the matter is that he is a really good doctor. He takes time with his patients and listens to their concerns and answers their question and likes to talk. At 11:15 he was at least an hour behind schedule. For sure, I will go back a year from now because I like a doctor who takes time with his patients and answers their questions. Even if I have to wait for over an hour to hear that everything is fine and see you next year, I’ll go back.
But I hate the wait.
I got some work done while I was waiting – emails that needed to be answered and a couple of articles I meant to read.
Why did I have to wait? I know why, and the explanation is good enough. Was it a huge waste of time? Not really. I got some good work done.
Still I hate the wait.
Waiting is a part of the Christian life. It is not some necessary evil, a temporary inconvenience. It is essential to the Christian life. It is a discipline to be mastered, not a distraction to be endured.
I should have welcomed my time in the waiting room as an opportunity to grow in piety.
Finally, Christians welcome waiting because we know that for which, for whom, we wait – “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul tells the Philippians (3:20).
We wait, enduring much more than the inconvenience of old People magazines, because we know that those who humble themselves under the mighty hand of God will be exalted in God’s proper time (1 Peter 5:6). We know the old wisdom that reminds us that God makes all things beautiful in his time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Today, among those who are a part of the LPC family, among those whom I am honored call friends, are those who are waiting for a new job, though there is none on the horizon. There are those awaiting a final diagnosis, mostly likely a confirmation of a discouraging early diagnosis. There those who languish in a hospital bed, not giving up, because they know so much more about the importance of waiting than I do. There are those who wait for a telephone call from an estranged family member because, despite all that has happened, they still love them.
I was a little cranky about my 90-minute wait at the doctor’s office. Not because anyone was rude or that I wasted all that time. I was cranky mostly because the 90-minute wait was not what I had in mind, not what I had planned. I can’t remember if I thanked God that all is well and that I don’t have to go back for another year.
Waiting is a Christian discipline and it requires a kind of patience that comes from and is sustained by the Holy Spirit.
Thank you, God, for my 90-minute wait this past week. Use it to humble me and mold me even as I await your beauty in all things.
See you Sunday
It’s going to be a miserably hot Saturday, but a group of a dozen or so LPC folks are going to brave the heat to join others from the Hunting Park neighborhood in north Philadelphia and those from other supporting churches in the first of two consecutive Saturday cleaning days at Hunting Park Christian Academy. We’ll paint and scrub and mop and sweep and do our best to help put the old building that houses HPCA in good shape for the opening of school on September 1.
LPC people know the HPCA story. For seventeen years, HPCA’s mission has been to “provide a quality, affordable, Christian education that celebrates a diverse community and leads children to know and serve the Lord.” About 200 students, pre-K through eighth grade, attend the school, which is housed in that old church building (where an active church worships on Sunday). Continue reading
Vacations are a good idea.
Becky and I returned from a ten-day vacation in Montana on Wednesday. Our time away could not have been better. We spent the first half of the vacation in Glacier National Park. My apologies to social media folks whose feeds were flooded with one photo of spectacular scenery after another. The second half of the vacation was taken with visiting Becky’s brothers in Billings, and it was a very good time. Continue reading
Becky and I will be leaving town as the DNC arrives in town. When we made our reservations for the trip to Montana, we were not thinking that we’d be missing all those Democrats.
We leave very early on Monday morning, and with a stop at O’Hare in Chicago we ought to be in Bozeman, Montana, before noon. Then a five hour drive to Whitefish near the entrance to Glacier National Park, where we plan to spend a few days hiking and taking in the beauty and wonder of God’s creation in that amazing place. At the end of the week we will head back to Billings, a seven hour drive (Montana is a big state), for some time with two of Becky’s brothers who live there.
By the time we are back in Philadelphia, the Democrats will have left town. We didn’t plan it that way, but we’re okay with it. Continue reading
Kay Brown, who staffs our Children’s Ministry team, calls LPC’s week of Vacation Bible School her favorite week of the year. It is a wonderful week.
VBS returns to LPC Monday morning, and we are ready to welcome the kids and all the leaders, and to make room for what God intends to do in, through, and among us. It is a wonderful week.
Kay has compiled some numbers that tell a bit of the story of our excitement about the week. It is a wonderful week. Continue reading