“So, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
“Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Title credits to Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth.
I don’t know if there is any feeling more intolerable, more cruel and antsy and utterly difficult, than that of enforced waiting. I’ve become a pro at waiting over the last year, having spent such a wonderful volume of time completely alone between classes, but none of those hours could compare to the next two and a half weeks. At 40 days away, it’s easy to be calm and patient because that’s still over a month away, and each day will pass in its reasonable time. Now, and for every day after, the hours and days will refuse to flow as they ought. Each hour will be drawn out to feel like 60 hours, each day will become 24 days. The amount of time between Ian and me has reached the touchy point of close-but-far, and anything after this point will feel cruel. Patience will be God-given minute by minute… and for those of you who know me well, you’ll realize that I am not by nature a patient person. Any calmness I have in the following days you must attribute to God alone.
But the key to everything is patience. Last semester my crazy-eyed math prof related his dismay at “this generation’s” impatience, and although he was generalizing outrageously, I think there is a grain of truth in what he says. Either a grain or maybe a whole plant, maybe a redwood tree. I talked about this yesterday somewhat: us as an “instant culture,” about how that encourages a general lack of commitment in people. Our age plays a role in this lack of commitment as well, for in many cases we are neither mature enough nor stable enough to maintain long-term relationships. Friendships made in high school die out when people scatter for college and college friendships fade as people move out of dorms and out of state upon graduation. Why invest heavily in relationships that will certainly cease? A true friendship takes time and trust, a mutual willingness to demonstrate faithful good intent. Back to patience: you can’t hurry a good friendship, and with long lengths of time comes the necessity for patience.
Patience isn’t needed anymore. If you really want to pay, you can get nearly anything overnight expressed after ordering online in a moment. Instant Messaging connects people around the world for free, and cell phones grant constant access, day or night. Television’s constant change and brevity of coverage per subject – change, change, change – teaches people that anything worth knowing or doing takes 30 seconds. Why wait for a snail-mail (even the name carries the stigma of evil-slowness) letter to reach somebody when you can email? I personally enjoy snail-mail’s handwritten, “sat-down and thought of you” feel. Patience is required for many things, regardless of what society tells us: you can’t rush making a computer, reading a book (or my blog), forming a relationship, baking a cake, thinking clearly, or even talking on IM. The days certainly can’t be hurried by, nor minutes send speeding on their way in less than 60 seconds. I don’t want to sound frantic or insane, but it seems to me – one of the few excluded from the positives and negatives of much of our culture almost entirely – that everything moves so fast now. Now? I sound as if I’m 65 and sorrowful for past memories of the “good days” when in reality this is all I know. To me, a child of this generation – call it what you will, the Age of Entertainment, the Technological Generation, whatever – it seems that all this progress is serving to individualize us more, to further break bonds that need solidifying. Most of all, how are Christians to learn patience in waiting on the Lord if we never have to wait for anything else?
This Seattle Times article should interest our females readers. It has nothing to do with patience, but my question is this: if we must take antibiotics, what good is knowing that action increases our risk of breast cancer?
As for marriage being an exclusive group… maybe in college. But nobody’s stopping a person from getting married. Also, joining the Married People Group doesn’t change a person’s need for other friends. Marrying isn’t joining a frat and making 25 instant friends; it’s nearly the opposite, a cause that effects the loss of friends due to uneasiness. I wish I could feel what it would be like to be a single person rooming with a married couple. I realize it would be awkward, and have to respect that, but I can’t understand why there is this feeling.
– KF –
2 weeks, 4 days