being human,  writing

Learning to Wait

I am learning to wait, hopefully patiently. For the majority of my adult life I have pushed and strived and made things happen. I have set goals and conquered them. But I’m in a different place now, a place quite unfamiliar to me. I am in a place of quiet anticipation. I am teaching myself to wait.

Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, yeah—no, it doesn’t feel simple at all. In this waiting period, I am noticing my compulsions and tendencies. I am noticing how much mindless scrolling I do as well as the tendency to pick up my phone for …. something, but what? I do not know.

I just announced a break from social media today, something I’ve been thinking about for a while but have not had the courage to do. And how crazy is that? It literally feels like it is taking a great deal of courage to stop. It actually feels scary. I am trying to identify why and the best that I can come up with is that it is important to me that I connect with people and that in some small way I remain relevant. But that is a trap—all of us are relevant in our human-ness; our mere existence in this world makes us so. And the irony is that we are both important and insignificant at the same time. It is part of the mystery of life. I guess I wanna look back on my life and feel I made a difference here. I had some ideas about how I would do that (and in fact did so) for years, but it’s all changed in the last few years. Instead of forging ahead, I find myself in a period of quiet reflection and waiting for an answer to come.

So, the waiting? It’s about getting quieter than I’ve ever gotten before. It’s about doing less. It’s about simplifying. It’s about getting rid of all of the extraneous material of my life so I can get down to what is really important. It’s about standing naked before God and asking, what’s next? And then it’s about allowing a long pause between the question and the answer. It’s about maybe not fully getting the answer I am expecting or even want. It’s about staying open. It’s about trust. And it’s about following the movements of my heart when an answer does come.

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