Monday, December 19, 2016



Patience is more than just waiting.  Patience is restraint when you are provoked and hope when you are low.  It is about striving to get up no matter how far you have fallen.  And to do it without hurting others.  It is a means of purifying your heart...

Many of us feel like we spend a majority of our lives waiting and longing for what comes next.  We wait in line to ride the roller coaster, to pay for the groceries, to taste our lattes.  We wait for our food to be delivered to the table, the day we can get our driver's license, that text or call from someone special.  We wait for that college acceptance or (gulp) rejection letter.  We wait for healing when we are sick, that special vacation when all is well.

We wait for our father, mother, sibling, son or daughter to return from duty in places faraway.  We wait to be noticed...chosen...loved.  We are always waiting for the next season, hoping better things will come once we graduate, give our lives to a career worthy of of our talents, find that perfect person to marry, and then we wait to start our own families.  We live in an age that caters to our impatience: instantaneous overseas communication, overnight shipping and microwave ovens, fast food and fast tracks.  We are constantly looking forward to the next best thing, hoping to get through the now so we can get to the "then."

But is holding out for what's to come the smartest strategy?  We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences and accomplishments we can be proud of.  We want a story to tell our grandchildren. But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening...
Right now.

Maybe the best time in our lives isn't ahead of us or behind us.  Maybe it is actually somewhere in the in between.  Maybe the "mundane" is really what it means to be alive.  Maybe we have an incredible opportunity to make of it what we will--to resent its lack of adventure or simply rejoice in the beauty of taking a moment to relish our next breath.

Real life doesn't happen on the big screen.  Sometimes, it's boring.  Sometimes, it is lackluster.   And as hard as we may try to hurry it all up, we are still often stuck in the waiting game...those less than remarkable moments.

So, what do we do with those?

We learn to embrace the wait.  We fall in love with the in-between, relishing those interruptions
instead of resenting them.  And in doing allowing ourselves these moments to wait, we might just learn a few lessons that strengthen and nurture our souls.

When we are forced to slow down, we are reminded of the truth: we are not in control. Whether stopped at a light, stalled in a line, or put on hold, we can let it tie us into knots of anxiety, or we can accept that we cannot live in the past or the future; all we have is the right now, so we may as well take our time!  Waiting is not a detour, it is a very important part of the journey.  We need to learn to appreciate the space in between Point A and B.  After all, it is in this space that we grow.  It may happen slowly--almost painfully so--but one day, we will wake up and be amazed at the distance we have come!

Waiting can be about much more than waiting, and it can certainly involve more than the digital pacifiers we carry around with us.  We need to reframe waiting as an opportunity to disconnect from the task driven part of ourselves that craves stimulation and reconnect with the other, quieter part that longs for stillness, peace and reflection.  Maybe we can start to think anew about waiting as the space between the notes of music, a deep breath after a steep climb, a blank page dividing the chapters of a book, a patch of green in a towering, grey city.

In both the Jewish and Christian traditions, we are currently in a season of waiting.  Only one candle at a time may be lit on the Menorah and advent wreath.  Both holidays commemorate a "waiting" for a miracle, and both require a great measure of faith, hope and love and patience.  What better time then to stop and think? To create and capture rather than consume?  To work out unresolved issues and let yourselves daydream and take in the surroundings of right where you are?

Trust the wait.  Embrace the uncertainty.  Enjoy the beauty of "becoming."  Because when nothing is certain...

Anything is possible! 

Please enjoy this very special story/lesson on patience:

Then take some time to tell me what you thought.  What was the hardest thing you have ever had to wait for?  Did you learn anything in having to wait?  What was it? 

I wish you ALL a very Merry Christmas, Happiest of Hanukkahs, and most wondrous of holidays!