Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm in the midst of a waiting game right now. Waiting for a lot of reasons, and to this I say BLEH! It's a great big pile of BOO. I hate waiting. Like most human beings, I want to know what's going to happen next...and hoping that the outcome is one that is going to be conducive to my schedule. While I'd say that I've become remarkably content with life in the past year, it turns out that every now and then God likes to send things my way just to rile me up. The dangling of the proverbial carrot on the stick if you will (yes, God uses carrots because carrots help your eyes--YES THAT IS A METAPHOR FOR GETTING CLEARER PERSPECTIVE/VISION). Well, I'm not sure if this is God or not (depending on how theological you want to get), but it's the way that life seems to go. "How content are you REALLY?" God says to me. "Erm..." I say, as I squirm. "RRReeeaallllyyyy content????"--the tone in my voice starts low but then slowly crescendoes to a high pitched squeal because I am bold faced lying. But it makes me wonder why we can't just take a deep breath and say, "Okay" and enjoy it. But "NAY" Jess Miller's brain screams!!!

One side of Jess's brain (we'll call this side A): "Wow, isn't this fun! You don't know where your life is going! This is very exciting! Yay for being spontaneous! Hoorah for new horizons! Yippee for new adventures!"
Brain, Side B: "Quiet you! This is horrible! Egregious! You should be able to plot your life out on a map!!! WHAT IS GOING ON!? What if things don't turn out like you want? I feel uncomfortable."

This is right around the time that I turn the Chicago song "Will You Still Love Me" up really loud to drown out the voices. Peter Cetera--what passion (song choice has absolutely no correlation with why I am currently waiting--I just love it)!!! Yes, I have listened to it 96 times in the last 2 days. Anyone walking by my door probably wants to scream because they've heard this song so many times.

But really what makes everything so incredibly irritating about waiting is that I find myself consistently wishing time away to appease the anxiety. While I normally find myself excelling in being a moment savor-er (you only have so many after all), and I believe I generally find some joy in everything I do, I find that when I am in a waiting period I want to speed everything up and find out the end. But, as that one quote says, "It's the journey not the destination." This irritates me to no end, but I know it to be true. Even as I reflect on faith, it seems like a majority of the Bible is about waiting--take Moses out in the desert, everyone waiting for the Messiah, then once they GOT the Messiah, waiting for him to resurrect, then waiting for him to come back AGAIN (which is where we still are), and well, you get the picture--take out waiting periods and you take out about 3/4 of the Bible it seems. But I'm guessing that the manna from heaven and the Promise wouldn't be so appreciated had Moses only had to wait like a day in the desert, and especially if he lived today and had a nice hotel room in Egypt complete with Room Service. Not a very impactful story. This is particularly harrowing for a culture that enjoys getting ish DONE as quickly as possible: this is why we love iphones, emails, microwaves, fast food, credit cards, speedy internet, airplanes, etc. Everything can happen in 3 seconds or less. We want things to be done, and done NOW dammit! Our culture has warped our sense of sitting quietly, waiting patiently and enjoying the process. One more reason I love American culture (why yes my third language IS sarcasm...I think I speak it quite well)... But I really do believe that in so many ways it has robbed me of not only the waiting part, but the richer outcome and appreciation when everything finally comes to a close.

So for now, I find myself trying to teach myself the art of savoring those moments of waiting, take a deep breath, and heed those oh-so-wise words of Tom Petty:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day see one more card
You take it on faith
You take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

"The Waiting" By Tom Petty

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