WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????
What are you waiting for?
Hey, wait a minute . . . .
“Wait” is one of the most difficult words for us to accept, much less love. Its’ meaning shifts in a mix of ways: an undertone of anger, a whisper to awaken our longings, a sarcastic dismissal, a pragmatic, honest question of inquiry, a loud demand, to mention a few. By definition “wait” automatically points to the waited-for thing. The letter in the mail from an estranged loved one. The sound of the door announcing that your teenager has made it home safely. The dinner plate covered with favorite family recipes. The words “will you marry me?” The words “I’m sorry”. The doctor’s announcement that surgery went well. This list goes on, for we are people that waste no time moving from the outcome of one “wait” to the next thing we want to have, know, do, or be. After all, waiting is uncomfortable at best in a “quick and easy” world.
Sue Monk Kidd describes waiting in her book When the Heart Waits.
We think that the “real thing” is concentrated in the next moment, the next month, the next year. We can go on and on, waiting for the next “happening” of life, hurrying toward it, trying to make it happen. We live from peak event to peak event, from brightness to brightness, resisting the flat terrain of ordinary time – the in-between time.
Waiting is the in-between time. It calls us to be in this moment, this season, without leaning so far into the future that we tear our roots from the present. When we learn to wait, we experience where we are as what is truly substantial and precious in life. We discover, as T.S. Eliot wrote “a lifetime burning in every moment.” (Kidd, p. 37)
All creation waits. In a book by this name Gayle Boss offers beautiful mysteries of creatures in their waiting times, vital to their survival: the winter sleep of a black bear, the choreography of honeybees through the cold, the schemes of a cottontail. (“All Creation Waits” by Gayle Boss)
Unlike creatures that follow instincts into times of fruitful waiting, we are creatures that have responsibility for responding to our waiting times – honoring the sacred space of the in-between and choosing how we experience it. Do we rush toward the next”? Live ahead into the future? Complain, worry or fret?
Will you pause and take a moment to name your own waiting seasons? Will you dive into the life-giving waters of waiting, savor the wait itself and accept its’ wisdom? Will you “Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!” the visitors at the door of your Advent Guest House? (Rumi, The Guest House.)