i am such a groupie of Henri Nouwen (click here to read why!) so this highlighted quote seemed appropriate to share as we wait (& work on our patience) during Advent..
“Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here & now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow; later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.” Henri Nouwen
So, i took this photo the day after Thanksgiving while ‘waiting’ for my brother to see Penguins at Christmas Town. We figured everyone would be out shopping (!) but, no, it took 1/2 hour (30 minutes) just GETTING IN THE PARKING LOT of Busch Gardens. We then waited in tram lines with everyone (& their Grandmas, Grandpas, siblings, cousins, wee tots) just getting to the park entrance.
Fortunately, we knew the drill so ate our tasty supper early (later on some folks waited an hour to get their vittles!) We so enjoyed the Lights (all 6 million of them!) & the lovely carols & the general Cheerfulness throughout the park… but patience was a little tricky when it came to the Long Lines.
I did the Penguins last year (a little on the smelly side for their ‘cuteness’), so decided to wait while Dwight took a peek (with my hot drinkie in hand, observing folks from a comfortable chair I waited…. & waited … & waited. (Finished the drinkie with slow sips, cleaned up my phone texts…) After 45 minutes, i noticed Cool Stuff around & started plotting pics with the camera. (Voila, see wreath above, a little tricky capturing due to light inside & fiddling with camera settings in the DARK, but i kinda like this one.) Finally an Hour Later, Dwight returned…
By then i was really into having fun with the camera (more pics to follow for sure) so didn’t mind the wait (’twas a lovely, temperate evening – probably a reason folks came out of the woodwork since the next night was to be freezer-ish brrrr cold!)
…i chose patience in that instance (good on me!) but all too often, i am Really Not very patient (major understatement!) So many times, i have been a little ticked at God for having to wait… & WAIT… & wait… & WAIT..
Once during daily devotions in Africa (i worked for a faith-based organization) our accountant spoke about ‘waiting on the Lord’ with those Isaiah verses to back it up. I had been praying – fervently- that morning for a Husband & just BLURTED OUT: “but i don’t want to wait for a husband, i want one NOW!” The Dar team laughed hilariously at their mkurugenza (director/ ‘Boss”) & it took quite awhile for me to live that one down. (My boss, our National Director in Arusha, offered me to a Masai husband for 100 cows, but i told him it would Take A Whole Lot More!!!)
Waiting can be hard (& i am still a singleton, but living in community with the Savvy Saints the whole ‘pray for a husband’ thing is kinda Not Important as it was living alone. )
Still, there are Patience vs. Angst choices we make every day… waiting on new opportunities, waiting to get ‘called back’ for something, waiting in line (grocery, toy store, at the bank), waiting at the doctor’s office (!!!)… waiting for Serious Stuff (our loved ones to ‘come around’… to change bezerk behavior …) waiting … waiting… waiting.
(Waiting for ‘Mr. or Ms. Right’…)
How we wait… that’s what Henri Nouwen’s quote is about. Methinks that’s the part that matters to God, too. For good reason – embracing THE NOW – & letting go of our angst (prayers for Grace always good on that front!) we may find treasure hidden around us.
Like the photo above. Joyful light emanating from a Candy Shop…
Treasure comes in all shapes & sizes!
grace, peace & patience, patience…
Virginia : )