Have you ever driven 60 miles to meet a friend, only to have that friend—who lives two miles away—arrive 10 to 15 minutes late? There you wait, drumming your fingers, wondering why it is that you’ve driven so far and yet you’re early, while she, who lives so close, is late. And we’ve all done our share of waiting for appointments, waiting for results, waiting on the phone for a human voice, and waiting for good news.

Of course, waiting is nothing new. Our ancestors had to wait 40 years before they could enter the land that G‑d had promised them. They had to wait for the cloud to lift, water Waiting is nothing newto spout from a rock, and manna to settle on the ground. And when they reached the end of their trek through the wilderness, they had to wait some more as Moses recapped their journey. And they listened.

But unlike our ancestors, we don’t seem to grow through the waiting period. We don’t really want to listen. We’ve lost patience with waiting. It’s as if we’re unable to appreciate the moment at hand. We’re rooted not in the present, but in some nebulous future.

What are we doing with all the time that we resent, the waiting period, the time when we’re drumming our fingers on the table or pacing around a room?

The Rebbe taught that “time awaits you to give it life. A moment flashes into existence, anticipating your breath of life. After all, for this purpose you came here, to be at this time, in this moment, so that you will A moment flashes into existence, anticipating your breath of lifemake it a living moment, a moment that has meaning, a meaning connected to the One who created time itself.”1 Think about it. Each minute was given to us so that we could give it meaning, a meaning touched by G‑d. Each minute gives us the opportunity to check on a neighbor, smile at a stranger, or set aside time to volunteer with community organizations. And if we’re left drumming our fingers on the tabletop, then we can take those spare moments to study some Torah. It’s about tweaking our activities so that we are mindful of G‑d’s presence in every aspect of our lives.

The Rebbe also taught that “Abraham entered into each day with his entire being, and so must we.” He said that we “must strive to make every moment a moment of life.” Like Abraham, we must give it meaning. And if we do so, then that moment will endure forever. However, if we fail to do so, then “that moment will become a moment that never was.”2 A moment that never was—now, that’s really a waste of time.