Man, I hate waiting.
I mean, I have a serious issue with having to wait for anything.
“Wait here, please; someone will be with you shortly.”
Or one of my favorites: “Um, note to first vehicle in line? That color up there is ‘GREEN’. You may find this hard to accept, but drivers in other places customarily go when they see that color – and you know what else? This is really weird: they actually stop on RED instead of green. I know, right? But, hey, as long as everybody else is doing it wrong, why not go with the flow? It seems to be working out okay for them.” Outworlders? It’s a Wichitan thing. Our people stop on green and just keep going on red. I think it’s the residual effects of all the fluoride we used to have in our water. Where most kids grew up playing Dodgeball, ours grow up playing DodgeDodge.
Waiting. Not good. I am an above-average server. I’m a lousy waiter.
Someone unknown to me wrote that the secret of being patient is to do something else while you’re waiting. To a culture known for standing before a microwave, darting a finger to STOP when the timer hits ‘1’, patience is not a value.
I submit that it ought to be.
I’m just as bad at being patient as are you. The only difference may be that I not only own my impetuosity. I’m on the active hunt for how to effectively deal with it. I’m looking for a way or three to make it work for me instead of against me.
“Sounds like a New Year’s resolut—”
I’m not waiting until New Year’s Day.
True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by. (E. S. Bouton)
400 years is a long time to wait. The priests and prophets used to say it often: “He’ll be here. The prophets said so. You’ve just got to be pa—” Then even they were cut off and shut up. Yeah. For 400 years.
“Take a good look at our world. At our nation, region, state, city or neighborhood. Seriously. Does THIS look okay to you? Does it not strike you as odd that God hasn’t long ago stepped in and sorted all the marbles? And you want me to be more p— well, you know. Nothing’s turning out like—”
Like you had it figured in your mind? It never does. It’s a real pain in the stern when God doesn’t go according to your script, huh? Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind. (David G. Allen)
So here’s my personal strategy – my short-term goals – to cope with my inability to get along with impatience.
- To be patiently active and expectantly at peace every day. I will embrace Peter Drucker’s idea that the best way to predict the future is to create it. I’ll best do that by ‘gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by’, intensely appreciating and acting on what’s right here before me while leaving tomorrow and all it’s kin in God’s hands. Planning makes sense. Pining is a fool’s game.
- I will purposefully live in my ‘now’, daily doing my best to fulfill its responsibilities and enjoy its privileges, all the while maintaining a strong, resolute hope for what lies ahead of me. Hope is a revolutionary patience. It generates a real peace inside that lets my face be pleasant and untroubled. That in turn helps those who look at me feel a calm assurance that if I with my challenges can be hopefully joyful, perhaps they can as well. Hope is that strong. I will therefore keep my hope intact and thriving. I shall strive daily to infect others with it.
God is pretty wise in giving us Time in 24-hour increments. Had He not, who knows what we’d be doing with it?
If we were some of the 400-Yearers, miserably waiting, waiting, waiting for a train that we’re just SURE isn’t coming, we’d probably have been just as disillusioned and crabby as they were.
“PATIENCE? I hear you right? You said, “PATIENCE?”
HOPE IS A REVOLUTIONARY PATIENCE.
All of their recalcitrant crabbiness, even unbelief, never hurried God. Never made Him hold things up “just because they’re really ticking Me off, now!” Nope. He just kept the trains running on time, never too soon nor too late. Right at the exact time, He sent us part of Himself to be The Conductor.
And the best part? He bought all our tickets. All we need to do is see Him and thank Him for The Payment, receive His gift and get on.
“So, since you write all this encouragement to me, you must have gotten past the real impatience deal, right?”
Did your puppy come potty-trained?
I’d like to tell you I have this ‘patience’ thing down cold. I’d like to tell you that. But I’d be lying.
I don’t. But with the two short-term goals I chose, I have a game plan with which to deal with this ‘patience’ thing. I am indeed finding the secret to being patient – doing something else of worth in the meantime – isn’t a secret at all. In fact, I’m finding that those ‘worthwhile something elses’? They most often need to be being done, anyway.
Anybody can do it.
BTW, The Conductor’s got a ticket with your name on it and it’s already been punched. All you need do is step up and get things squared away for the trip. Not a bad Christmas gift, hunh?
© D. Dean Boone, December 2014