You know that final scene in the movie Love Actually when everyone is greeting each other in the airport? I was THERE, in that very scene, on Wednesday night when my husband, daughter and I went to the Omaha airport to greet my 20-year-old son, Sam, as he arrived home from school for his winter break.
We’d made this same trip before, of course, for both children, and arrived expecting to find a small group already clustered at the top of the ramp leading to the gates, waiting for their own loved ones. We were never alone on these nights. But this time there were probably forty-to-fifty people at this place, people of all ages, all colors, all manner of attire . . . all waiting.
There were so many people that I seriously thought they might be congregating for a flash mob. We hung around for a while, even after Sammy arrived, just in case. But, no. They, like us, were all just waiting for their loved ones.
- The large, quiet, rough-looking man was waiting for his young, fresh-faced son, who seemed just as surprised as we were by his father’s joyful bear-hug greeting.
- The small, stylish boy-man almost knocked over his returning soldier girlfriend with his embrace, an embrace from which neither of them wanted to break, even as her khaki duffle bag rolled out the little door and past them on the conveyer belt.
- The happy woman with the funny hat was waiting to greet (and embarrass!) her adult son and new fiancé. She turned on her hat when they arrived and it sang a Christmas greeting as its pointy tip swayed jauntily back and forth in time to the music.
And there so any others others . . . the noisy group of college kids in sweatshirts and boots; the pretty, young woman in the business suit; the large, older woman in the pajamas and slippers. One by one, they each greeted their own loved ones as they arrived home for the holidays. Just like the movie.
Else where in this blog, I have attempted to dissuade my readers from waiting:
Don’t wait on the world to change. Change it yourself! Don’t wait for everything to fall into place so that you can have the life you want. Have that life now, in spite of its imperfections!
But in this liturgical season of Advent, waiting has another face – a patient, faithful and, yes, joyful one. So I am going to reverse myself. I am going to encourage you to make room in your life for waiting.
Because some things – like growth, change and resolution of grief, for instance – should not, cannot be pushed or manhandled into fruition.
And because some things – like having your scruffy son home from college – really are worth waiting for.
All of these good, important things take time. But they will come, to those who wait.
What about you? What are you waiting for? Tell us in a comment below.
And, if this post got you thinking, you might also want to check out All in Good Time: Traveling at the Speed of Life and Roadside Assistance for Resolution Breakdowns: 5 Things to do When You’re Stuck.