Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting With Grace

Nobody likes to wait.  

Sadly a significant part of our lives is spent on waiting for either something or someone and it's simply a fact of life that needs to be embraced.  Each of us had to wait in the womb before tasting our first breath on this earth.  We had to wait until we all became independent and capable of doing things on our own to address our daily needs.  We had to wait before we can go to school, find our first job, get our paychecks, find someone to love, so on and so forth.  On the level of the mundane, our lives are filled with waiting.  We wait for our computers to fully load each time we turn it on.  We wait for emails, letters, IMs, text messages, faxes, Facebook updates.  We wait for food to cook.  We wait in traffic.  We wait in line at the stores.  We wait at the doctor's office.  

We wait all the time and know that in this life nothing is instant and yet some of us never get accustomed to it and still wonder, complain and refuse it.

Personally, I'm not one to label myself 'patient'.  Sure there are times when I at least seem to be more patient than other people but generally, or at least when it comes to the really important 'stuff', I'm anything but patient.  I've often wondered about this...about this contradiction I have. 

For instance, when I'm waiting in line at the checkout counter, you will very rarely hear me complain.  I can wait.  When at the doctor's office, as long as I'm sure I've not been forgotten or no mistake has been made with the appointment schedule, I can wait.  Even in traffic, putting aside all the tension I may go through for being late for an appointment, I will not really experience any rage or cuss myself to death behind the steering wheel.  I can wait.

But why is it that when it comes to the 'big' things, the things that truly matter, the things that  in some way or another will truly define me, I seem to lack the capacity to wait?  Waiting in line or at a doctor's office is one thing.  Waiting for something to happen in your life is another.  I am ashamed to admit this but the truth is, I tend to morph into a toddler when it comes to the latter.  I do remember times when I threw tantrums at God for not giving me what I desire when I desired it.  I have had my share of resentments towards life when I don't get what I want when I want it, and it's during those times when I throw most, if not all, spiritual maturity out the window.  Where is my love life?  Where is that job?  Where is that baby?.....and the list never ends.....................

What I've come to realize is that Patience is a function of Faith.  The reason I am more patient when it just comes to falling in line or waiting at the doctor's office is because I know and feel certain that no matter how long my wait is, my turn will come.  There is a system in place and one way or the other, I will get the service I need, I will get what I want.  In life though, it doesn't work that simply.  We deal with a lot of intangibles and there are far more variables to consider when we want something to happen.  Of course my premise here is that there is a Divine and a divine order to things.  That being the case, I'm a believer that some things are either 'not meant' to happen, while some are 'meant to be'.  The problem is, if you are lacking in faith and you desire something, a little glitch, delay or bump in the road makes you panic and you take it with all negativity and accuse life of being unfair.  Instead of seeing life through a lens of gratitude, you tend to see life as something that withholds from you, deprives you.  And the more you work within this framework, the more impatient you become, never trusting the Universe to deliver what and when it needs to deliver.  Instead of graciously taking answers of 'no' or 'not yet' to mean that something wonderful can still unfold, you throw tantrums and choose to believe that you are helpless and a victim.       

The difference between someone who lacks faith and someone who truly possesses it, is that the latter sees the world as a field of buds, rather than patches of treacherous jungle.  

With genuine faith, you can walk through life enjoying each step and seeing beautiful possibilities waiting to bloom.  Things may not turn out how you envisioned them initially, but you can still eagerly await each event to unfold, and appreciate how ever things mature and fully reveal themselves in the end.  How ever they turn out, you are able to see the distinct beauty and miracle in them.

Without faith, you can feel like rushing through patches of treacherous jungle, where you just can't wait to get through things and survive; where life can seem like a maze and not getting what you ask for just spells out plain disappointment or heartache.  Not getting what you want or have been waiting for will always feel like an inconvenience and seem cruel.

Nobody likes to wait.  But sometimes, we have to.  And for those of you who, like me, can get impatient with life sometimes, let me share with you (once again), a favorite quote of mine that helps calm me down and remind me of my field of buds---




"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." 
---Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)




* Clock face image courtesy of http://www.freefoto.com/preview/11-22-55?ffid=11-22-55
** Flower images courtesy of Francesca San Pedro

18 comments:

  1. Really beautiful, Joy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Peach Fondevilla MontesaJuly 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    1:43 am (FB)

    Patience is a function of faith...I like that. And Rilke's quote...love that of course! A reminder for me to include it in my collection of 'Notes' here in FB. Thanks for sharing, Joy!

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  3. 1AM (FB)
    You're right Joy. It's the journey, not the destination, that counts :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. 5:45AM (FB)

    Waiting as part of an efficient system is one thing, but waiting for something that might not even happen is quite another. Like you, Joy, I get very upset when I work (and wait) for something and in the end, it does not materialize. Its not only the waiting, and thus time invested, but the effort (not to mention the emotional and psychological preparation), that seem to go to waste... However, like you, I believe in Divine Order, and when all is lost to me, I can always lean (or blame!) a Higher Being. Believing that there is a Power greater than myself gives me some hope that there is a certain order and rationale to life - far beyond my understanding.... and that thought is what comforts me during difficult and disappointing times....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Life is what you make it. Dont spend your time waiting for things, go out and make them happen. God wont do it for you. Of course, you already know this. Waiting for child but God said no. So you said screw that and went to a doctor... Doctor said yes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 12pm (via FB)

    Love love your 'Catharsis' blog, Joy! I always look forward to your new posts. I've a couple of faves na nga eh. And as for this one, naive or not, I love it especially Rilke's profound yet very perceptive quote. Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking and poignant posts, I really appreciate the essence and depth of your insights, naks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJuly 25, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well said Joy!

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  9. Well said Joy!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 12pm (via FB)

    Love love your 'Catharsis' blog, Joy! I always look forward to your new posts. I've a couple of faves na nga eh. And as for this one, naive or not, I love it especially Rilke's profound yet very perceptive quote. Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking and poignant posts, I really appreciate the essence and depth of your insights, naks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. 1AM (FB)
    You're right Joy. It's the journey, not the destination, that counts :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 23, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 23, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kathleen Estanislao SeraficaJune 29, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    6:47am (via FB)
    finally caught up with your posts - on this topic, i have had a similar journey as you... question faith, impatience... but a couple of years ago, i made a decision. i will focus on what i have and what i can control. be content with the fact that really, i am not lacking in anything. my incessant need for more will only make me frustrated and unhappy. i will see what good i have in the now. what i don't have, well, i dont have so unless there is something i can do to change things, i should not complain and fret. focus on positives, de-clutter the mind with what-ifs, whys and how comes. when things don't go my way, ill be sad but remind myself that it is not the end of the world. and on the odd chance it goes my way, i celebrate it with fervor and accept it with open arms. i am always grateful for the basic things (food, clothing and shelter) and the other blessings (good health, happy family, good friends, a job). i dont and wont have everything, but with i have, i am thankful.

    ReplyDelete

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