Impatient for Spring? Try Wait Lifting!
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.” ~Barbara Haines Howett
Late February drags under the best circumstances, even though it’s the shortest month. This time of year is hard. And, I stink at waiting. Waiting in line, waiting at stop lights, waiting for spring. Not my bailiwick. I’m especially bad at waiting for answers, waiting for progress. I admit it, I’m no good at biding my time. But according to one article I read, the average person spends six months of their life just waiting in line. Six months!
When I look back at what I’ve written at this time of year, there’s a pattern to it. It’s hard for me to sit and do nothing about a situation. I have a tendency to dig up the dirt to see if the bulbs are sprouting. About four years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a piece entitled “Wait Lifting.” I was really struggling at the time to bear the wait for answers and an outcome. Again now, and many times since then, I’ve been working to improve my wait lifting ability.
Let me explain what I mean. I had this wild thought back then that all this waiting might actually be a good thing, Maybe it’s meant to strengthen us emotionally and spiritually the same way we build our muscles and bones by intentionally putting pressure and strain on them when we lift weights. When we do that, we actually create micro tears in our muscles. It can be tough and it hurts but the effort followed by rest makes the muscles heal back stronger than they were. That’s a little oversimplification but I think you see where I’m going.
Maybe we can learn to tolerate or even enjoy the pauses in the process of determining what comes next. Why not? In this present stretch of time we actually do have everything we need to be happy in the moment. Can we allow ourselves to relax and savor the right now-ness of it all and let tomorrow stay tomorrow? It all comes down to a choice to live in a way that Sir William Osler called “day-tight compartments”. Let tomorrow take care of itself.
Wait lifting, a great way to grow strong
The Bible is full of messages about waiting and patience. I like the King James version of Psalm 27:14. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart”. We are all a work in progress and I’m beginning to understand that it really builds not only our patience and character but also strengthens our gratitude muscles along the way.
And I adore what Sue Monk Kidd writes in her wonderful book When the Heart Waits,“I had tended to view waiting as mere passivity. When I looked it up in my dictionary, however, I found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pati, which means “to endure.” Waiting is thus both passive and passionate. It’s a vibrant, contemplative work.”
Today I went for a long walk and as I left, I stood for a bit staring at the cold, wet, muddy places I planted daffodils and crocuses last year on a gorgeous fall afternoon. I smiled when these encouraging words bubbled up in my thoughts. “Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.” ~ Christine Caine
I can’t wait to see you again Thursday! Just like you, I’m learning to see life with new eyes!