"We are signing you in - Please wait."
"Your custom is important to us - Please wait while we attend to your request."
"There is a problem with the connection - Please hold."
"We are experiencing a higher than usual demand for this service - Please wait."
"There are two callers ahead of you - Please hold."
"We are being held at the platform for two minutes to regulate the service."
"65 Ealing Broadway: 6 minutes away."
(Take a breath, this may take a while.)
I have a question for my fellow commuters and other London travellers.
Why do we find delays so frustrating?
Is it because we can't spare the time? Or is it because we feel control is being taken from us?
Is it because we feel imposed upon? Or perhaps we value our time so highly?
Let me suggest a different perspective:
Perhaps a delay, such as waiting for a bus, is a gift of time.
Rather than let a delay cause me irritation or anxiety, perhaps I can use the unplanned pause to look and listen, to reconsider, to let those thoughts that have drifted to the dusty corners of my mind to reassert themselves.
I read that one of the 'secrets' of successful people is pausing, making space for latent thoughts to rise to the surface.
I've another suggestion:
Perhaps I can take more of those unasked-for pauses in the day to voice a prayer, in order to ask for God's perspective on my day and to submit it to Him.
I discovered prayersonthemove.com last week:
Short one liners in an app to focus the mind away from the immediate and onto more important things.
One of the prayers quoted Nicholas Sagovsky:
"So many voices all around tell me what to do. Help me to listen to the still small voice of truth." (1 Kings 19:11-12)
You can download the app here.
Unplanned pauses give us time to conspire with our Father in heaven, to seek his wisdom, his truth and guidance, to commit our agendas to Him afresh.
So next time you have some unexpected waiting time thrust upon you, don't fret, just pause.