Previously I noted that waiting can get old—tempting us to give up on being patient. There’s another side to this idea of waiting, which brings me to two other propositions:
• If waiting can get old, old-age waiting can also be good.
• Waiting in your later years can also be rich and full.
Looking back at your life, you can see examples of instances when waiting worked out well, some large, some small: Patience in your career moves, biding your time before responding emotionally, resisting unaffordable purchases, learning to love your spouse well, trusting medical treatments or developing lasting life-skills. You have likely seen the wisdom in waiting, the benefits of slower approaches, the value of delaying immediate gratification.
You may also have come to cherish what’s old about waiting. You have treasured the establishment of your eventual life roles. You’ve assembled pleasing habits into a satisfying lifestyle. You have learned how to take time making good decisions, avoiding easy shortcuts that could have ended at dead-ends.
You may have even come to relish ordinary waiting situations. (See the earlier blog, https://fullofyears.org/waiting-room-redemption/) You have enjoyed these opportunities for careful discernment and savored your observations of people and situations.
During your life’s waiting times, you may have realized how they have helped you deepen your relationship with God, drawing you closer into God’s love and increasing your dependence on God’s providence. You have learned to listen for answers to the question, “What’s God up to?”
You can understand what Henri Nouwen meant when he wrote, “Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting.” Your actions and attitudes about waiting could comprise the spiritual core of your full, satisfying life.
You have reasons to wait until it gets old….
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