Saturday, December 2, 2006

waiting... waiting...

Waiting is not a very popular attitude.
Waiting is not something that people think about with great sympathy.
In fact, most people consider waiting a waste of time.

Perhaps this is because the culture in which we live is basically saying, “Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don’t just sit there and wait!”

For many people, waiting is an awful desert between where they are and where they want to go. And people do not like such a place. They want to get out of it by doing something.

But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively.
They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing. That’s the secret. The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed [the promise] has been planted, that something has begun.

Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it. A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment.

But Zechariah, Elizabeth, and Mary were not filled with [their] wishes. They were filled with hope. Hope is something very different. Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes. Therefore, hope is always open-ended.

Henri J.M. Nouwen ‘Daily Meditation’