When I was single, I hated when people told me to “just be patient, the right one will come.” Didn’t they understand that I had no interest in patience? That I had clearly and obviously waited long enough? Couldn’t they see the time and tears already wasted?
When I started dating my now-fiance, I decided two months in that he was definitely the one. I was pretty sure after one month and definitely sure after two months. And from the moment that I made my decision, the clock started ticking again in my head. Why hasn’t he already asked me to marry him? What’s the hold-up? Doesn’t he know my ovaries are like little ticking time bombs?
When my fiance asked me to marry him, I thought at last! Life is moving forward. No more waiting for happily ever after.
Except from the moment the engagement started, so did the wedding planning. Now my fiance and I are anxiously awaiting our wedding day. Even as the weeks pass, the day seems never closer. Every day we talk about how much we wish we were married and I regret not having planned a shorter engagement period. My irrational fears mount – what if the day never comes? What if one of us dies before then? When am I finally going to be one with my husband?
I think to myself, I can’t wait to be married and for the next phase of life to start. Then I will be living a full life.
The problem with waiting is that there’s always something to wait for. Waiting for our life to start at a certain point means that we will always be stuck in slow motion, because the point will just keep moving. Next I will want a baby (confession: I already want a baby). After that I will want my second, and so on.
Although patience is clearly not my strong suit, I can see the spiritual lesson in waiting. As Christians, we are in a time of waiting for the Lord Jesus’ return. We are to be expectant for that day and looking forward to it, but it does not mean that we forget to live in the present moment. Jesus reminds us repeatedly to be in the present – we should be thankful for our daily bread, we should not worry about tomorrow, we should celebrate with the bridegroom while he is present, etc.
I confess that I do not do any of this well. I am always looking ahead, planning, worrying. But God in His great mercy (cough) has placed me in the immutable structure of time. None of my planning or worrying changes a second. There is nothing that I can do.
And so I learn to wait. Expectantly and hopefully thankful for the beautiful time I have right now, right here with my future-but-not-yet husband. My daily bread.
How have you learned to wait?