The Wait

I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper, nor are my husband and sons. So yesterday we headed for Boston to enjoy burgers in Cambridge and a visit to the Museum of Science. As we drove through Quincy, we spotted the cars. Hundreds were lined up on I93 and Route 3, stretching up to a mile away from the exits for the South Shore Mall. A quick look at the mall parking lot and the roads leading to them revealed hundreds more cars, all trying to get into a parking space and into the stores. As we drove past, we were all happy to be heading elsewhere. A three mile walk, four delicious burgers, and a visit to a special football exhibit at the museum added up to a great outing. Leaving the T station just before six pm, we drove past hundreds more cars heading for a filled-to-capacity mall. I wondered how many people sitting in those cars enjoyed their day. Was a day shopping worth the wait?

Time is a precious resource, something I do my best to remember. The time I spent with my family didn’t provide me with packages and presents bought at the best possible prices: it gave me memories of a day spent together rather than spent apart. I can’t wrap them, but they are so valuable to me, worth every penny and every minute I spent.

My sons return to homework and class schedules tomorrow. My husband and I take up our work tasks and holiday responsibilities. It’ll be another four weeks before we have the pleasure of a day spent together. But that’s okay – such waiting fills my soul with love and gratitude, treasures that can never be discounted or found at the local mall. Is there any better use of my time?

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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