I am being forced to take things slow tonight.
It’s the beginning of the weekend and due to the heat, hundreds of people are choosing to stay indoors to surf the internet and watch cable – activities which obviously clog the bandwidth, leaving me with pages that load at a supremely languid pace.
My fingers itch to click open a new tab and fill my waiting with more browsing but I resist the temptation for fear of stalling my current download. It feels like when I first got my internet connection, almost 16 years ago. Back then, a single page on the internet took several minutes to load and because I knew I had to wait, I would always sit at the computer with either a magazine, a notebook (to write in my thoughts before I forget them) or watch the telly at the same time.
There seems to be an undercurrent in all our activities these days, a certain immediacy that’s been inculcated by modern technology’s efficiency. Need food? There’s a microwave to heat up leftovers. Need to talk to someone? There’s the mobile phone. Need to find out something? There’s the internet. Even applications for passports, bank transactions and credit cards are now approved within 24 hours.
I find the demand for an immediate response bleeding into my expectation for results in life. The danger of course, is when I begin to demand the same immediate results from the people around me.
Waiting – is it a lost language?
The desire for instant gratification is a scary one, all the more so because I know I have an impulsive nature. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about my actions but that when I finally decide to do something… I do it now.
Recently, I made a decision to go ahead with one of my seemingly impulsive plans (which of course, means that it had been brewing within me for over three years) and when I did, I immediately sought for instant gratification to my decision. Thank heavens none of the plans pulled through. I was made to wait for more than a month – a month that I will wisely spend being rational, thinking through all the pros and cons, weighing the effects carefully.
I have a hunch that I will still go ahead with my plans but in a way, because I have been made to wait, I think… I will be better prepared for whatever comes my way thereafter.
It’s been an hour since I began writing this entry and with a sigh, I watch a carefully chosen page slowly fill in with images, as though the artist is drawing the picture right then and there. But I am not impatient.
I am more than willing to relearn the art of waiting. It is, after all, how I was made – I am a culmination of more than 31 years of development, a story that will take a lifetime to tell.
And like all good books, hopefully, the ending will be worth every single minute of its creation.
‘Is it bad that I broke down after finding out two more of my friends are pregnant and they weren’t even trying?’ a friend asked me today.
‘No, it’s totally understandable,’ I replied, wishing I could be there to give her a huge hug.
I understood her feelings then – the frustration at not getting what you want, the pain at seeing another person’s happiness and the guilt that follows, because you are actually coveting their moment.
‘Sometimes, I wonder how long I can go on,’ another friend confided in me. ‘The situation hasn’t improved, the same difficulties are replayed over and over again… I want to walk away. And yet, I don’t. I stay. I don’t know why…’
It’s called hope.
We all carry on because we hope.
Hope that at the end of the waiting, when the rain has ceased… the rainbows will appear, our dreams will come true. And therein is the reason why in this day and age, we can wait – we have a Dream Maker. He wrote our days before we were born. He crafted our life as a beautiful melody, a song rich with meaning and weight.
And He can’t help Himself. He loves happy endings.
To the friend who’s waiting for a child…
To the woman who needs a change at her workplace…
To the boy who struggles with his dreams that came true…
To the man who crams for his tests…
To the couple who searches for a new home…
To the new mother who feels a little lost…
To the guy who wants to explore the world…
To the girl who sometimes feels so alone…
May you continue to hope while you wait for the birth of new promises. Your story isn’t over and a new chapter of loveliness is just a turn of the page away.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
– Jeremiah 29:11
I’ll look forward to turning my pages. I hope you will too.