I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Spinning Wait Cursor

Heidi here. Last month I blogged about change—specifically some unexpected changes at the Geis House. I honestly thought that when my turn came back around for August, I’d have some good news to share regarding Craig’s job situation. Instead, we’re still waiting. And the only thing that makes me crazier than change, is having to wait. 

Waiting on God is especially difficult for me. As I’ve shared many times before, I often run out ahead of God because I‘m confident I can see where He’s headed. Usually I’m wrong. I’ve always been impatient, and I’ve always struggled to let God lead because sometimes it seems like He’s taking FOREVER! The bottom line is that I tend to get super antsy when I have to wait. For anything.

Take this morning: I sat down at my Mac Mini to work. I have a lot on my plate—er—desk right now. I have papers and projects to finish to complete my BA in English, I’m speaking to the ladies at our church tomorrow night on the Holy Spirit, and today is my day to blog. Mac and I would be busy (and hopefully very productive!) today.

I’d already started this blog about waiting, with the plan to write about all the ways we’ve been waiting on God all summer—including Craig’s job situation and the uncertain health diagnosis of a friend who is basically my sister.

But after two hours at my computer, I’d accomplished nothing, and not because I wasn’t trying! I started by opening the Word document in which I’d already started this blog. Then I opened my browser for research. Things were fine until I tried to switch between Word and Chrome and I got the dreaded animated rainbow pinwheel that meant I needed to wait while Mac was “thinking.” Suddenly, for each of the simple tasks I’d requested, Mac needed to ponder for several agonizing minutes before complying. Finally, after nearly an hour of dealing with intermittent beach ball swirling (and almost losing my mind) I realized I might need to reboot my computer.

So, I attempted to save my document of probably less than 75 words, and after two full minutes it appeared I was successful. I hit the little red circle to close it, but nothing happened. Then, a box popped up asking me if I’d like to save my work before closing it. Um, pretty sure that’s what I JUST did. I clicked on save—AGAIN—and waited—AGAIN—and after another two full minutes, it finally closed. It took me another ten minutes to get the stupid computer to shut down and restart.

I seriously almost lost it. To maintain my sanity, I thought I should probably take a break while it rebooted. I went to the kitchen, brewed a chai tea, and took several deep breaths. When I heard the little song Mac sings when he’s booted up, I felt relief. Ahhhhhh. Home free…right?

Wrong. Once everything loaded up, I tried to open Word. That’s when Mac began opening every single word document on my computer. Yes, every. single. one. I forced it closed, but when I reopened it, it happened again! I ended up having to manually close each one individually. Now, nearly THREE HOURS after I initially sat down to work, Mac is finally cooperating with me (maybe?) and I’m writing this blog. But the irony of waiting on Mac is not lost on me.

Mac’s animated rainbow pinwheel goes by many names. Mac users lovingly refer to it as the “spinning beach ball of doom,” or “rolling rainbow of death,” but Apple—its creator—calls it a “spinning wait cursor.” It usually appears to indicate that Mac is in the process of completing a task, and in many cases will last just a few seconds. When it continues to swirl longer, it can mean a few different things. For instance, it might mean an application is taking a little longer than usual to load, or that a lack of memory or available hard-drive space is impairing completion. Sometimes it’s a result of an overworked processor, a faulty piece of software, or lack of proper Internet connection. Whatever the case, it can be very, very frustrating!

It’s kind of like waiting on God. We know we have all these tasks that need to get done. Many have some sort of deadline, whether real, imagined, or self-imposed. We go to God—prepared to be productive—and He seems to freeze up. He gives us what WE would call the swirling beach ball of doom. Sometimes, it’s brief…a few seconds that we are more than willing to endure.  But sometimes, it just swirls and swirls and swirls. We get impatient, frustrated, and angry, and we seriously begin to consider a forced close.

But to God—our creator—that little beach ball is a Spinning Wait Cursor. It is His way of telling us that He is in the process of working it out on our behalf. Sometimes it takes a little longer than usual. Maybe it’s because of a lack of space in our lives for His will. Or because we are too overworked or broken to properly connect to Our Source. Other times, we may never know why it took so long because it just doesn’t matter.

Today, I’d planned to write about waiting on God from a completely different standpoint. Then God put that spinning rainbow pinwheel in front of me. I went a little crazy, but once I rebooted—both the computer and myself—I began to see this little fiasco as a gift. What a fantastic object lesson! Who knew that a stalled computer and Mac’s rolling rainbow of death could be such a wonderful representation of how faithful God is when we wait on Him!

Because God’s Spinning Wait Cursor IS a rainbow—not of death, but of promise!!


  1. You are amazing, this is almost like pulling a rabbit (a soft harmless velvety non-pooping rabbit) out of a hat. Praying with you for patience, endurance, wisdom, and victory, that you'll have good news soon, but also appreciate that you have the realization that even all news and events in between are also good. We love you.

  2. In a previous career, waiting was part of the game. One had to wait, in usually unpleasant surroundings (like a rubbish tip or a sewage-filled ditch) with complete stillness and alertness, for a certain thing to happen, at which point accurate and decisive action would become necessary.

    Or nothing would happen, requiring one to leave as he had come, in silence and secrecy.

    Waiting is not a problem. It's merely what occupies the part of life during which we're not acting.


  3. Love your post, Heidi, and I'm well acquainted with that spinning beach ball! Many places in the Bible we are told to wait patiently for God to act. But it's just so hard! Sending prayers your way for new direction!

  4. Have to admit, though...when I first read this I was very tired, and my eye turned the 'i' in wit into an L.

    So I had a mental picture of the spinning Walt Cursor, a figure skater nailing a quad axel.