Wait Training: Daily Disciplines are Connected to Hope
by Marilynn Chadwick "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?" (Hebrews 12:7 NIV). While waiting for answers to my prayers for a baby, I found that simple, daily disciplines were somehow connected to hope. Small habits often lead to big dreams. And big dreams can have a wider reach than we may imagine. Navy Admiral and former SEAL William H. McRaven challenged graduates at the University of Texas to realize how simple, daily habits can have world changing impact. “Changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it,” he said. “But change starts with small actions. Every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that they were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALS—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over. If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.” His advice to the graduates? “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” During my years of infertility, I grappled with the long time spent “waiting.” I wonder how I would have responded if I could have fast-forwarded my life’s video for a glimpse of my three wonderful now-grown children? And our soon to be ten grandchildren? If I had known the outcome in advance, I might never have learned to draw meaning from the ordinary moments along the way. And I might have missed the life lessons and “little habits” I learned during my season of waiting. Today, I have practically forgotten the pain of wondering if I’d ever be a mom. I walk around every day like these amazing miracles are, well, ordinary. And in his kindness, I think this is just how God intended it. The daily adventure of taking my worries to God and watching for the answers has given a touch of wonder to my days. Ordinary? Yes, but with a bit of bling. I’ve come to believe seasons of waiting are not wasted. These and other lessons are still part of my days even now. I wait differently now because I really do believe in miracles. “Wait training” has taught me that hope counts. Faith works. And with love, anything is possible. Miracles are for real. And I really do believe I can change the world. But first, I think I’ll go make up my bed.