Most of us find the business of waiting trying. We British used to be famous for our queues, but these days we have probably grown as impatient as everyone else.
From the way we buy things and manage debt to online shopping, to wanting information here and now about what the future will look like, we are impatient for tomorrow. And yet, much of our time is in fact spent waiting, for buses, for medical appointments, for the plumber to get back to us with a quote. Our lives seem to be permanently on hold while we wait for another to help us move on.
While mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically pacing up and down, waiting on the next thing, we are also annoyed with the past.
I heard a brilliant quip from a contributor to Radio Four’s ‘Thought for the Day’ the other week (I think it was Canon Angela Tilby, one of my favourites) who said, “We must give up hoping for a better past.” Of course, most of us try to do just that: worry over the past expecting that it will have changed the next time we look at it.
We are made up of the past and we can’t ignore it, nor should we try to. The past forms the raw materials for the present and future, but it is done.
Wisdom of the age
Gurus recommending the benefits of mindfulness practice and meditation, along with old popular sayings like, “Live for the moment,” all remind us of the importance of the only time we have for certain: the here and now. And yet, we dream of what might be, strive for something.
This seems to be hard wired into our system; call it evolution, call it survival, call it transcendence, it seems a fact of life as solid as any real time experience. In fact, meditation teaches us, I think, to be able to be fully present – but not just to the present!
Where is he going with this?
Often by this time of the year we are either heading or just about to head into the great season of Lent. But Easter is late this year; pffff..another thing we have to wait for. During February, we are in between times.
I want to share some thoughts with you on the value of being in between, and how, in fact, that is our permanent state. In some ways, this leads on from our ‘Getting Back to Normal’ series but with more…waiting.
Please sit with me and wait for a while.
Think of all the frustrating moments of the week, and the energy (emotional and physical) spent on the phone waiting to be connected to someone, the late train, information on an important appointment, exam result or whatever has been occupying our minds in recent days.
What was really annoying about it? Give it to the God who waits with us and see what happens.