A worthwhile wait!
Things don't always work out the way you plan them, especially when you are a
tourist. We had enjoyed a memorable morning at the RCMP headquarters in Regina,
Saskatchewan, and were heading for the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. For
some reason, my oldest son is fascinated by capital buildings, and he considers
touring them one of the highlights of our vacations. Maybe I should pass a bylaw
making my house a legislative building?
As soon as we neared the building, it became obvious that this was no ordinary day. The parking lot was closed, and there were police officers directing traffic elsewhere. A luxurious carriage was allowed to pass, however. It seemed the police were playing favorites!
At the entrance to the building, we could see two members of the RCMP, fully decked out in dress uniform, red coats, Stetsons, black boots and all, waiting for the occupants of the carriage. Hum. Either the passengers were hardcore criminals or they were people of important status! I voted for the latter!
"Excuse me sir, where can I park our van?" My wife asked one of the guards. "We would like to visit the Legislative Building."
"I am sorry ma'am, but the parking lot is off limits for the moment. The new Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan is being sworn in today. In fact, he just passed in the carriage. You will have to park somewhere else."
Non-deterred by the obstacle, we found an unsophisticated parking spot some distance away and began our hike back. When we arrived, some of the fanfare seemed to have settled down. The members of the RCMP were gone, and the regular guard sat calmly at the visitor's desk. When we asked about a tour, however, he told us that we would not be allowed into the building at the moment. Hum. Did I forget to pay my taxes???
"Is it because of the new Lieutenant Governor?" We asked.
"Yes," replied the guard. "He's being sworn in at the moment. But it shouldn't take too much time. Though there won't be any formal tours of the building until 4:30 p.m., but if you come back in about fifteen minutes, after the Lieutenant Governor has left the building, you should be able to visit the premises on your own."
"Fifteen minutes. Hum. That's not too bad. We will be back."
And so we went for a leisurely stroll around the immaculate gardens surrounding the building. Leisurely, that is, until we encountered the soldiers! 80 members of the Canadian Army and Navy were just beginning a march, and their destination was the Legislative Building! Obviously there was to be a ceremony of some kind for the Lieutenant Governor!
We followed them from a distance until they halted in front of the building, and then we decided to wait around and watch. Some of us decided to sit in the grass. I preferred to sit on a post. It must be my pelican blood!
The fifteen minutes turned out to be one hour and a half! After 90 minutes of sitting in the hot sun, we were miserable. But we had far better "waiting" condition than these poor soldiers in full dress uniform, carrying their heavy, bazooka-like rifles.
By this time, many locals had joined our ranks, patiently waiting for the outcome of the event. We seemed to have a common cause. We were all waiting to see the new Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. Looking back, I'm not sure why. I don't even remember what he looks like!
Some of the bystanders grew impatient and left, however the soldiers were all faithful to their cause. Their perseverance was richly rewarded when the Lieutenant Governor finally appeared. He proceeded to walk among their ranks, speaking to different individuals, praising them for their faithfulness.
To our disappointment, we were still unable to enter the building. Most of the officials who had gathered around now went back in for a little social, and though commoners like us were invited, we felt we didn't really fit in with the crowd, as their attire was much more attractive than our smelly, spotted clothing (camping will do that to you!). Besides, we were scorched by the heat and our tongues were stuck to the top of our mouths from lack of water. We did return later that evening, and to the delight of my oldest son, we were granted a personal tour guide and a wonderful, detailed tour.
Waiting is not a strong point for most of us, especially since we live in a world dominated by stress and rush. We are constantly assaulted by a multitude of tasks to be performed, and our precious time is continually slipping through our fingers. Technical advances didn't procure the much-anticipated rest to our society. Instead it augmented our responsibilities, and now we have to do more things in less time. No, waiting is definitely not our forte.
However in the midst of this turmoil we are encouraged to wait for THE event of all events: The 2nd coming of Jesus! But being strangers with the concept of waiting, we are facing a harsh reality: Will we be ready for this much-anticipated event?
Many have wandered away, as the wait seems surreal and not worthwhile. Others are waiting for this special event by being overly active. They try to become part of the event by their works. Those who are faithful however, wait patiently for this outstanding event, knowing that the price for their admittance was paid by the One who is preparing it.
Are you ready for this earth-shattering event?
"God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness." (Titus 2:11-14 The Message)
As for those of you who have filthy clothes (like the ones we were wearing), may I recommend that you accept the garments the Divine Host has provided for you. "When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn't properly dressed. He said to him, 'Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!' The man was speechless. Then the king told his servants, 'Get him out of here - fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn't get back in." (Matt 22:11-13 The Message)
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