Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Way to Wait

Waiting is perhaps the finest of the fine arts.

To wait without appearing to wait—without wearing your impatience on your sleeve—that is perhaps the truest test of creativity, of grace, and of faith.

Calm acceptance of delayed gratification, said to be the measure of maturity, is achieved only by those who have given up on achieving anything. They can stand to wait because they know their moment isn’t coming. 

Everyone else is hopping impatient on the inside, whatever they are like on the outside. Ambition, desirethis is bad company for patience. It chafes and burns and torments.

Aging means we must wait less and less. Christmas comes around more than once a year. And what month IS this anyway? Last time I checked was a week ago, and I’ve flipped two calendar pages since then. 

And yet, aging means we must wait more as well, because almost everyone is younger and therefore in the kind of hurry that inevitably creates delay.

Age can be a crowbar. If we want, we can use it to pry into checkout lines and leave everyone gaping at our arrogant impatience. Not recommended. 

Age is also an excuse to slow down. To take time. Not as thief, but as connoisseur. To savor and consider.

Waiting for a novel to take shape is like waiting on the mountaintop for stone tablets. Believe it: more are coming. Age protectively forgets the number that crumbled on the way down the slope.


The way to wait has more to do with faith than youth can imagine.


  1. Beautifully written! I loved this post!

  2. I was waiting and wondering what happen to you this past week. I visited a few times, glad to see you're back. And your writing is perfection!

  3. So true. So much is missed when you plough through life too quickly.

  4. What a thoughtful, lovely post.

  5. I like how you ended it with faith.