Saturday, September 3, 2011

About that Waiting Thing...

I was thinking about waiting, and I thought that even if that wasn't what I wanted to hear, at least I had it made in the shade, right? If I'm waiting, I don't have to actually do anything, do I?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about being active during the wait.  Believe me, for the last 10 years, I may have been waiting to find a spouse, but I have not been waiting for life to begin. I've gone to school, I've taught RE, I've been on the parish council, I've spent amazing time with great friends, I've worked a great job, taken some fun road trips, learned to rock climb, grown deeper into my relationship with God, and so on. I've also tried to be proactive and open in trying to find someone, but that just doesn't seem to be happening.

Anyway, this time it's a little different.  Always before, when I would look for something to do and some way to grow, there's been an opportunity waiting.  Now when I look, I just hear crickets.  This was frustrating at first, because I am a very impatient person and there is not much that I hate more than waiting unless I can be doing something useful or fun while I wait (on the other hand, if I'm not waiting, I have no problems with wasting a LOT of time).

However, since there doesn't seem to be much to do while I wait (besides just daily stuff), this time I just figured that I would just be, I guess.  I don't know what that really means, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of choice right now.  Then one day in Mass, the reading was the parable of the ten virgins.  That made me think about the foolish ones compared to the wise ones.  All were waiting, but the wise ones were prepared while they wait.  I don't know what else I could possibly do to prepare, but it just struck me that if I'm waiting, and that if I believe that God is in all this somehow, then I had certainly better be waiting with an attitude of readiness. Lamps? Check. Flasks of oil? Check.  Ready at any moment to light them.

Then, there's this sweet little old lady that always gives me newspaper clippings about gardening (she doesn't know that I am a champion plant killer, and keep all plants away from my house for humanitarian- plantitarian?- reasons; for some reason she thinks I like gardening).  Anyway, along with the clippings, she hands me an old church envelope from November.  She didn't realize it was there, but the verse on it jumped out and smacked me in the face. Unfortunately, I can't find the verse now, but it  was something about watching and being ready.

Waiting, even when there's not something to actively do, is still about watchfulness and readiness. Once everything is done to the best of your ability, it is now time to watch, to be ready to open the door when whatever it is that we are waiting for finally shows up.

There's one other situation right now that is teaching me about waiting.  At the moment, I'm all excited about planning a surprise.  I'm a little giddy right now as a matter of fact!  Waiting for this is so much fun because I have so much anticipation.  (More later.  As I write this, I still have a couple of days to wait.  By the time you read this, all the surprises should be out in the open.)  Waiting with anticipation does not have to be a drag, and can actually be part of the fun.

Okay, so that's about it.  Once all the excitement calms down, I may get a little annoyed about the waiting again.  For now I'll see about trying for an attitude of watchfulness and readiness.


  1. You are wise. I've never been very good at waiting. I am a "do-er" as someone told me...I always have to be doing something and I am NOT good at waiting on anyone else. But I probably ought to learn to wait on the Lord a little better. :)

  2. Oh Lordy, we are in such similar situations with the waiting game! I love the idea of watching and waiting instead of just waiting waiting. Thanks for so much food for thought- I second Michelle: you are WISE.

  3. Amen!

    If you're ever looking to read a book on waiting while you wait, two good ones are: Sacred Waiting by David Timms and A Graceful Waiting by Jan Frank.

  4. Just wanted to say that I love this! I hope that your surprise was carried off with great delight.

  5. Thank. You! Thank you! It was an awesome surprise!!!!! You already know how I feel about ur waiting game......u have done so much with ur life u should be so proud.....cuz I am!

  6. What a great reflection! Waiting can have so many challenges, and yet you're right - it can also be a good thing.

  7. Just catching up and wanting to say you're awesome. And inspiring. And the next time you come back to the midwest please surprise me by creepily showing up so we can be IRL friends :)