Tag: Tom Petty

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Few songs have been so much a part of my life than Tom Petty’s song “The Waiting”.   As with most of Petty’s songs, this one is basically the sound track of my life.  I have found that for me, the waiting is indeed the “hardest part”.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Everyday You Get One More Yard

You Take It On Faith, You Take to The Heart

The Waiting…is the Hardest Part. – Tom Petty

The song is clearly demonstrated by events that have happened in my life.  It is one of those songs that was written just for me.   The songs meaning actually became clearer when the movie “Titanic” came out.  I know you’ve seen it, so you remember the plot.  The part I want to focus on occurs on the exploration boat after Rose has shared her story of the final hours of Titanic.  She provides a number of statistics, followed by an interesting commentary…


“Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. There were twenty boats floating nearby… and only one came back. One.  Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six… out of fifteen-hundred. Afterward, the seven-hundred people in the boats had nothing to do but wait… wait to die… wait to live… wait for an absolution… that would never come.”


The statistics are factual, so there’s not much to discuss there.  It’s the waiting that piques my interest.  I can’t (and frankly don’t want to) imagine the thoughts that must’ve gone through the minds of the people sitting on the lifeboats.  Hours earlier, they were in formal attire, dining on the greatest ship ever built.  Now they were sitting in total darkness in a small open boat in the middle of the North Atlantic.  They didn’t know the actual numbers, but they knew all too well the tragic loss of life that had just occurred.  Many of them were in shock, or mourning the deaths of their husbands, fathers, sons, and dear friends.  They also found themselves in uncertain circumstances.  It was likely that rescue ships would come, but when?  Would they freeze, starve, or capsize before help arrived?  On one level, they had to be happy to be alive, but with all they had experienced there could be no manner to express it without guilt, shame, and remorse.

The “Waiting” had to be the hardest part for them.  It is this act of “waiting” that has a way of giving the mind opportunities to fill itself with images.  Images of the fear of the unknown, the images  of the loss of hope.  All of these, Satan uses  to do all that he can to derail you from the things God has put in your life, whether they are designed to bless you or test you.  Think about the moments you have where you are truly alone with your thoughts.  For most people, one of two things will fill those times – fears or prayers.

The same is definitely true for me.  The waiting is the hardest part, because it is in this idle time of “waiting” that my mind gets distracted from the very things I need to focus on.  I usually let the fear of the unknown take over and I defeat myself before I ever truly get started.

I have written about it before, (Click Here) I feel as if I have been on the shelf…”waiting” to be used of God again.  I have the desire to teach a Sunday School class again.  As I wait for God to open doors and allow me to have another opportunity to teach again, I struggle with distractions and fear of the unknown or the fear of never getting another chance.

While I know that the enemy tries all he can to distract and destroy, God gives us a simple instruction to help us to better use these times to glorify Him and strengthen our faith.  Paul speaks of these attacks and our best defense in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5…


“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”


Our minds will work against us, if we allow them to do so.  Over-thinking and analyzing situations create unnecessary tension, unrealistic expectations, and unfortunate outcomes.  However, by taking “every thought captive” we regain a sense of control over our minds.  We keep our perspective, we remain calm, and we  allow the voice of the Lord to speak clearly into ears that can hear and to a mind ready to listen and comprehend the good and will of the Lord in our lives.

If you are like me, you have made this mistake – more than once.  Thankfully God is patient and forgiving.   I know that God wants to use me again one day.  I want to prepare my head and my heart for the day when I am given another chance.

Until then…I’ll wait.

It’s the hardest part.

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There are a Few Things I am Thankful for But Make 2009 Go Away

Maybe it’s just me,  but 2009 was a difficult year.  I am not sad to see it go away and be logged into the history books.   As I have reviewed this past year, I have noticed that so many of my posts have been directly related to the things that I was experiencing or thinking about at the time.  I have never written a post to get or gain attention.  I write to clear my head and it relaxes me. With that in mind, I have attached links to previous posts to the various experiences I have encountered this past year.  Please feel free to click on them and re-read some of my favorite posts of 2009.

It has been a year where I have had to deal with some serious health issues.   A few surgeries later, I am in still in recovery mode, trying to deal with the results of the operations.  Sometimes the cure is worse than the problem.  More importantly, this year was a time when I had to endure the loss of the two of the closest friends I have ever had on this earth.

Within a short span of three months, I lost Bob Emrich and Bryan Blakely.   Bryan was my closest childhood friend growing up in Oak Harbor, Ohio.  There wasn’t much that happened to either of  us from the time we were 6 to 18 that we were not involved in together.  As life happens to all of us, after high school we went our separate ways.  We always stayed in touch but we both lived in different parts of the country and we were on different paths.  However, Bryan was part of a foundation in my life and when we were able to get together over the years, it was just like old times.  Thirty years may have passed but it would only be a few moments and we were just like we were when we were 18.  Good times.  He was taken way too soon.

Bob was my mentor and he was the one person that could always point me in the right direction.  He was an example to me of what it means to live a life that would bring honor to his family and to his God.  He showed me how to truly live as Christian in this world.  He taught me more about God’s grace than any preacher that I have ever heard.  No, he was not perfect but he was a perfect example of what God can do in a person’s life if they allow Him to work in their life.  Bob wasn’t a preacher but a truck driver.  I cannot tell you how many times I would call him and he would be winding his way through the mountains of Tennessee or making his way through the corn fields of Iowa.  He always made time for me and always had a good word to say.  I still cannot bring myself to delete his phone number off my phone.

Performing the eulogy at their funerals was the most difficult thing that I have ever done.   I cannot express to you how much I miss them.

This year was also a time where I had to deal with some major health issues.  Without boring you with the details, I had to have two operations.  The second surgery was much more serious than I  was really prepared for and I am still dealing with the results of the operation.  Those results have hindered my ability to write and to do many of the things I did and enjoyed so easily in 2008.

For example, I have completely lost hearing in my left ear and have a 60% loss in my right.   I am on the fast track in becoming deaf.   Anyone who knows me, knows that I love music.  It is something that I have enjoyed my whole life and it is slowly being taken from me.  I have also lost most of my ability to taste food.  Most of my tongue is numb and I have limited ability to even taste what I am eating or drinking.   Finally, my right hand is still asleep.  This hinders my ability to write and typing is much harder than ever before.  The doctor says that while there is no chance that my hearing will come back, I may experience some improvement with some of the other issues.  So, while I am waiting to recover from this surgery,  I am trying to do what my friend Bob would have done.  He would  have called me to talk about the things we were thankful for in spite of the circumstances that we are in.

In honoring his life, I am trying to put into practice what he would have done.  In that process, I realize that I am extremely thankful for many things in my life, in spite of the difficulty of this past year.    One thing in particular that I am thankful for in 2009 is this blog.  Over the year, I have had over 150,000 visitors.  Now I know not all of them read my blog and some visit my blog just to read what new ridiculous and stupid thing  comes out of my mouth and spills out onto these pages.  Like I always say,  I love to write…I never said I write well.

One post that went viral this year was a post about things I am thankful for  called  “A Few of My Favorite Things… .  This post has by far has been my most popular post with over 20,000 hits and still growing.   I wrote that after my first surgery and just posted a few of my favorite things and things I was I was thankful for.   I would like to update it and add to those things and really be thankful for what God has allowed for me to be a part of in 2009.

So here are a few of my favorite things to be thankful for 2009…

And finally, in no particular order, here are a few of the maybe or maybe not so important things  to be thankful for…

So there you have it… a list of a few of my favorite things I am thankful for in my life.  No, the list is not complete and I am sure that there are more things I am thankful for if I would sit and think for a few minutes.    However,  that is for another time.

In closing, I will not be sad to see 2009 go away.  I am looking forward to what God has in store for me in 2010.   The slate is clean and anything is possible.

I will not be surprised by anything that may happen…but then again, maybe it’s just me.