I had one of those mornings the other morning. You know, one of those mornings where everything seems to be pointing in one, very specific direction with everything that’s going wrong, you can’t help but finally see the message in one, huge EUREKA! moment. On this one particular morning, the message was about learning how to wait, and how to slow down. We all need wait training – even more so than weight training.

Hubby was off for a couple of days, which was really nice for me. On mornings that I’m off work, but Hubby has to work, I still have to get up just as early as normal so I can take him to the train station. However, on mornings that I still have to work, but he’s off, I get to sleep in (go figure…). And on these relaxing mornings, we also like the to get a Wawa hoagie (a.k.a. submarine sandwich, sub, Jackson’s gambit, grinder, etc.) and breakfast sandwiches rather than packing a lunch, so we decided to swing by the Wawa on this particular morning.

It turned out to be quite the lesson for me.

Wawas have a deli counter where you can get your sandwiches made to-order. Simply submit your order on the touch-screen monitor and take your receipt. While they’re preparing your order, you can shop around the store to get everything else you need for all your gastronomic needs – delicious Wawa coffee, breakfast sandwiches under the warmers of all different varieties, muffins and pre-made items – then pay for everything at the counter where the quick and courteous employees know how to keep the crowds moving. By then, your made-to-order sandwich is ready and waiting for you to pick it up at the deli counter where you ordered it.

This is how it works in any other sphere of time – just not on that particular morning.

The nightmare started as we pulled into a very busy parking lot. As I got out of the car, a rather large and slow-moving couple was also walking toward the door (I believe they thought it was a Sunday morning or something), and though I tried to skirt around them numerous times, I couldn’t quite get around them. So I waited as I matched their pace, walking through the doors into the Wawa, thinking I could dash over to the deli counter as soon as we got inside (Surely, like everyone else, they would saunter over to get their morning coffee since they had all the time in the world).

My method was thwarted by the large and slow-moving couple headed in the same direction as I was. And what made it worse was the fact that this morning there was only one working touch-screen ordering system, and a young (and apparently very confused) girl was standing in front of it trying to decide what she wanted. After what felt like an hour of waiting, she finally got her receipt and turned around with such surprise that there were people standing and waiting behind her. Then up walked the rather large and slow-moving wife to place her order – also seemingly very confused by the plethora of items before her. After what seemed like another hour, and hoping that she was finally done with her order, she slowly turned around and said to her rather large and slow-moving husband, “Yoooooooouuu waaaaaannnnnt suuuuuuummmthiiiiiin?” (I swear it came out of her mouth in slow motion!)

It finally came time for me to place my order, which I did quickly and efficiently (I always know what I want before I get there. I could never understand having to stand and read the menus at places like Wawa, or McDonald’s, or Burger King. Doesn’t everyone actually go into these places with one particular thing in mind that they want?). I grabbed my receipt and zipped around the rest of the store getting the things I needed to complete my breakfast and lunch and headed for the cashier, then over to the deli counter to pick up my sandwich – which wasn’t ready yet.

I stood there waiting, foot tapping, for the guys behind the counter making the sandwiches and having a great joke and laugh-fest while slowly making each of the 20 orders ahead of me. In my head, I had order number 378 and they were now serving number 23.

Having finally gotten my lunch hoagie, it was time to sprint back to the car where Hubby was waiting for me. It was now clear I was going to be late for work. But “sprint” was the one thing I simply could not do. When I wasn’t looking (and I don’t know how they moved that fast) the rather large and slow-moving couple were directly in front of me walking out of the store and in the same direction as I was. I was trapped and had no other alternative than to take a deep breath and wait.

After fighting the traffic getting to the office, Hubby finally dropped me off and I ran up (having to wait for the elevator, then wait for it to drop the other 7 people off at 7 different floors until it reached my floor) and was ready to get my Starbucks coffee (don’t you judge me…) from the machine in the kitchen. But when I got there, it was in the process of being cleaned, and I had to … *sigh* … wait.

As I walked back to my desk waiting for the Starbucks machine to warm up after being cleaned, it finally hit me that there was a message in all of this. That was my “Ah-ha!” moment, and I finally found myself chuckling. God really does have a sense of humour to get the message across, doesn’t He?

We go through life flying so fast we miss everything. We need to learn (or re-learn) how to wait. We already know this in dog training – you have to train them to wait. It keeps them from jumping on people, sets you as the alpha, and it generally keeps them a bit more calm and sociable. It gets them to look to you for direction. We make the doglettes sit and wait for their food. We make them sit and wait before going outside for their walk and again after they come in from their walk. We make them sit and wait before coming out of their kennels.

And, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.

What an appropriate time to learn this lesson – right before the season of Advent, the pre-Christmas season that is all about waiting. It’s a season that’s all but forgotten on most people’s calendars because of the mashup of all the commercial holidays already discussed on my blog (see The Thanksgivukkah Menurkey). We forget that at times we need to just sit back, take a deep breath … and wait. And what a great reminder, during the busiest time of the year when our lives are so hectic planning out the holidays, shopping, decorating, visiting, when we tend to lose a bit of ourselves. It’s especially at this time that we need the quiet. Just like the doglettes, we need to sit and wait for direction from the Alpha.