Help me learn the art of waiting until the time is right. Melody Beattie
News Flash: I’m outside the communications mainstream. I’m too much a bird-brain to fit into the Twitter-verse, and for a long time I thought Insta-Gram referred to the moment a grandmother dropped in to visit her grandchildren. I am aware of that thing online that is called Facebook, but back in the day, if I used the term, it usually meant I fell asleep at the library while studying, and that was the volume that separated my face from the table.
Life changes, though – sometimes quickly, and sometimes slowly. I think I prefer a quick pace. I know I don’t like to wait, and I certainly don’t like to dawdle.
When I am on my way somewhere, the people driving in front of me are always going about one mile per hour slower than I want to. It’s not so much that I am in a hurry, but our car is small, and it is hard to see around those rigs against which the Big Sky seems to shrink a little in comparison.
I hope you realize that when I go around you on the road, it isn’t because you are too slow; I just want to see what’s holding you up!
But getting back to patience – if you’re still with me, I’m glad you tarried – I’ve found that if the time isn’t right for something to happen, nothing I do will make it right and, in fact, may make it worse or delay it more.
When I was called to serve as the pastor for a couple of congregations here in Madison County, I couldn’t wait to get out here and get started.
I packed up the truck with all my essentials and tore across the seven hundred-plus miles from Tacoma. As I was approaching Missoula I received a text message from my wife (and yes, I violated safety protocols by taking a quick glance at the phone while driving – a practice I strongly discourage; please do as I say and not as I do). She suggested I may have left a tad too quickly; I’d left for Montana without my bag of unmentionables!
You could say I was “SOL” (Sorta Outa Luck); I know I did! Fortunately, I had planned on stopping in Missoula for fuel, so I added a nearby clothing outlet to my itinerary and all was well in the end, so to speak.
But that’s what can happen when one is in a hurry. Beattie (quoting from her book, The Language of Letting Go) says, “If the time is not right, wait. If the way is not clear, do not plunge forward. If the answer or decision feels muddy, wait.”
Speaking of mud, nothing illustrates the art of waiting like making a pot of coffee.
We have a drip coffee maker that is quite the kidder. If you don’t seat the basket properly, the grounds and water will back up like in the times of Noah and the flood. You’ll end up with sludge in the carafe and throughout the coffee maker.
There’s a signal to let you know the coffee’s ready, but when you get there the steam rising from the burner beneath the pot of chewy water almost sounds like it’s laughing with an asthmatic hhheeeeee.
So I’ve found it is very important to seat the basket securely and snugly into its slot. That’s not easy to do when one needs that first cup of coffee to function properly.
Speaking of mud, water, and proper functioning, I must also admit to being a grammar-fiend.
The other day my wife and I were out for a walk; she looked at our yard and said, “We’re going to need to start watering the lawn. It looks thirsty.”
Now, when she says “we” need to do something, I’ve generally found that the “we” in her case is intended to be singular and not plural, and that about half of the parties under consideration are not being considered at all, but that’s OK.
Some people see what needs to be done, and others need help to see what needs to be done. Better to water the lawn than correct the grammar, eh?
Now I can’t hardly wait to see what WILL be done here in this, our valley.