The Spiritual Practice of Waiting

January 30, 2012

I have been diligently going through my email lately and came across one I hadn’t read from November.  And in it,it included the phrase the spiritual practice of waiting.   And I thought to myself, indeed, waiting IS a spiritual practice that I don’t practice very well.  One of my tasks over break was to get my email down to under 50 emails.  Since I began at around 300 I’m not sure that will happen, but I am under 200 now so that’s progress.  And I find it interesting that I read this particular phrase today.

I’ve been tense.  I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.  I’ve been anxious and impatient and life hasn’t been as much fun because of it.  So the idea of waiting as a spiritual practice lifted my heart.  I want to try that.  I want to see how it will calm my soul.

I haven’t been writing much at all these last couple of months as my laptop died and I haven’t been able to buy another one.  I don’t seem to be on the computer that much anymore except for school and that’s been done since before Christmas.  So my blogging skills have been lagging.  My waiting skills have also declined.  In 8 days I will appear in court to try and get my money from the tenant who took it.  And it’s been a long waiting period.  I began this process in July and it will be February this week.  When I look back on the last few months I can see how much calmer it would have been if I had used waiting as a spiritual practice.  The same goes with my car.  I still haven’t sold that and it’s been 4 months.  Go figure on that one.  I’ve stopped trying to guess.  Ebay is the last resort I haven’t tried.  So I will.  But the waiting… the waiting has been grueling and this realization that I’ve made it more so gives me hope that I can change that. 

I adored my classes last semester so this grueling waiting game didn’t impact that.  I had a lovely holiday and took two Intersession classes that fulfilled me.  Yet now I can see how spiritually I could have used this waiting period.  And there’s not a better time to start but the present.  I’ve started a few other blogs that I never finished and may finish and post those anyway, even though they’re after the fact.  After all it’s my blog so I can do it however I want, right?  🙂

I intend to see waiting as a gift.  I intend to see waiting much like meditation or prayer.  For so long waiting has been the bane of my existence.  I carry a book to read while waiting in line, while on BART, while waiting in doctors’ offices.  What would happen to me if I didn’t?   What could I replace it with that will give me this feeling of serenity?  That’s a wonderful new concept I intend to explore. 

What do you do while waiting?  I’d love to hear.

From my little piece of Mayberry,

Jo

2011

January 2, 2012

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years.  It was neither.  Barring what difficulties I experienced, it was still a wonderful year.  I was doing my life’s work, I had a roof over my head, food to eat, kitties to love, amazing courses to take, friends who stood by me,  and I didn’t lose weight, but I didn’t gain any either.  I experienced deaths and I experienced life. 

I’ve got a new calendar hanging on my wall and its clean empty boxes are calling out to me.  I want to fill them up at the same time I want to keep them clean.  To have an uncomplicated life seems so enticing and that seems to only be to leave empty spaces in my days….. something  I can’t quite conceive of.  There wasn’t much empty space in 2011.  So much studying, so much reading, so much writing of papers, so much ministry to learn.  I left out writing for fun and my blog suffered.  When it came to posting a blog or journaling, I fell into neglect, as that didn’t have a deadline, didn’t need a grade, seemed to fall to the bottom of my list day after day after day.  I would love to say that will change in 2012, but I’m not much of a resolution maker.  I never have been.  I tend to make my resolutions throughout the year, not on January 1st at all.  Maybe there’s more luck for me that way, or should I say more resolution.  It was April when I decided to go back to school and I did that.  It was August when I decided to sell my car and I’ve tried that.  It was June when I began walking and sometimes running for exercise and I did that.  January doesn’t hold the pull for me that it seems to for others. 

There is however a brand new year, a year filled with possibility of what can be, what may come, what I might do with what does come.  That is the fresh clean look my calendar brings to mind.  The possibility that my unwanted habits will fall away and new wanted ones will replace them.  It’s exciting.  That’s the part of January 1st that is thrilling for me, that feeling of anticipation that so much good will come.  A year can be like a life.  We begin it anew, filled with the energy and excitement of youth, feeling anything is possible and we progress through the year, as through life, resisting it, feeling the disappointment, suffering, grieving, recovering, delighting, enthralling, celebrating and at the end, rejoicing, appreciating, experiencing unending gratefulness. 

A new year is upon us.  So much possibility to be had.  May you have it.  May you revel in it. 

May you have a magnificent, remarkable new year.

From my little piece of Mayberry,

Jo