My very favorite treat in the Old City of Jerusalem is freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice. Some prefer it mixed, half and half, with orange juice. I like it full strength. Stands are easily found throughout Israel, but to me, there’s something special about the pomegranate juice in the Old City. It’s the first place I had it, and I enjoyed it as often as I could. During my most recent trip, I passed many opportunities the first several days in Israel because I wanted to return to the Old City for my first cup.
It was a relaxed Shabbat morning. The Old City was quiet. Only a few shops were open on David Street, which was bustling only a couple hours later. For now, most the people were shopkeepers, Jews on their way to or from prayer, and a few tourists who were slowly meandering.
There was only one woman in the shop when we arrived, but it took a while to fill her order of a liter of pomegranate juice. The shopkeeper’s son split one pomegranate juice after another in half and squeezed each half tightly under the juicer. Then he began working on ours.
The street quickly filled with a large touring group. As they moved past us, one couple saw the pomegranate juice and slowed down. I’m not sure what language they spoke, but I was confident the woman wanted juice, and the husband tried to quickly get some for her before they were left behind by their group. “Quick” juice wasn’t possible. I motioned for him to take one of mine. My friend and I could wait. After all, I had already been waiting for a long time. A few more minutes just built my anticipation.
It was worth the wait.
It often is.
We don’t like to wait. We think it costs too much. Too much time. Too much preoccupation with the possibilities. Too much anxiety, doubt, questions…and not enough control or satisfaction.
Waiting is more often worth the cost than not.
Not waiting well has costs as well. When we don’t wait well, we likely aren’t prepared to give and receive as God intends. Our preoccupation, impatience, and manipulation rob us of the preparation God knows we need to have when we finally reach “that moment.” And “that moment” is really only one of many moments.
Savor each moment today. Life–faith–is a process.