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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Waiting as a Gift

Word for the Day

Today’s Word:  Wait

            I live a long half hour from my work at Altru’s Hospice and I know how much time to allow.  Usually.  But today I pull up to the town of Thompson just as a train arrived and the arms came down across highway 15.
            So I wait.
            No one likes to wait.  No one.  At no time.
            I have put items back on a shelf when the check-out lines would make me wait.  On a phone call we rarely enjoy the music because it means we are waiting!   We wait impatiently in traffic, at the doctor’s office and for the kitchen timer to announce “dinner time” with a ding. 
            People look at waiting as a necessary evil, at best, and something to avoided whenever possible.  That attitude stretches to other parts of life too.  Youth don’t want to wait for intimacy.  As consumers folks buy now instead of waiting and saving.  Commercials ask us, “Why wait when you can have it now?”
            Remember – I’m waiting for the train at Thompson.  I didn’t have a computer to put these thoughts to words.  But the waiting gave me time to think that we are looking at this all wrong.  Waiting isn’t a problem.  Waiting is a gift. 
            Please don’t misunderstand me.  We shouldn’t think making someone wait for us is a gift.  But when are forced to wait, we are often forced to think and perhaps to think new thoughts. 
            We were buying a new television a few years back.  I saw the and was ready to buy.  But my spouse wanted to wait and look.  I didn’t want to wait, didn’t wait and brought the set home.  We ended up not liking it, and I had to wait in line at the store so I could explain why I was bringing it back.  I only wonder at how many times I would have saved myself problems by simply waiting. 
            Here’s some ideas to make your wait a gift!
            Contain the emotions. 
            Often we don’t gain from waiting because we are upset we have to wait.  Any value of giving thought to a problem or using the time to relax and re-think gets lost in our emotions.  Recognize the feelings, accept your situation and open your mind.
            Ask a Question.
            Questions are your greatest tool for learning.  “What is important to me today?”  or “Who can I help today?” or “How can I learn from this?” or even "Why is waiting bothering me so much?"
            Enjoy the slow-down.
            Frankly most of us are hurrying here and there.  Slowing down for a moment or two during the day should be a good thing.  So enjoy it.  Relax.  Think, pray or meditate.
            … Oh, the train is about through.  I have to get back to focusing on my driving.  But it is amazing what can go through your mind during a short wait. 

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