Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gotta get me some of that!

“Good things come to those who wait” was something I was always told. Usually as a kid. Usually when I was debating on tearing into the Christmas gifts prematurely. Perhaps it was when I was peeking through the blinds waiting on the mailman, or a friend to drop by.

Patience is a virtue my behind! I remember admiring a sign my father used to have hanging in his business early on, it was a photocopy obviously passed on to him and hung with pride like that of today’s inspirational plaques that executives hang on their office walls.

It depicted two cartoon vultures that were perched on a branch looking down upon an apparent thirsty man who was crawling through the desert approaching an obvious cruel dehydrated demise. One says to the other, “Patience my ass, I’m gonna kill something!”

I used to perceive patience as weakness; a belief of those who were unable to make things happen. The movers and the shakers, you know those with the cool motivational plaques hanging in their offices did not just simply sit by “patiently” waiting on their rewards. They went out and “killed something!”

I remember I used to profess that if someone were passing out one million dollar bills, and there were a line ahead of me, I would get out of line. Sad.

As I reflect, I see that I had desired to control linear time. Like God wasn’t doing a good enough job for me. I wanted time to speed up to accommodate my receiving the stuff I wanted. I wanted the promotion quicker. I wanted fame quicker. I wanted the muscles quicker. I wanted the weight loss quicker. I wanted the check to come in the mail quicker. I wanted to grow up quicker. I wanted it all now. That was the incorrect practice of “the power of now.”

Now that makes me wonder. If I want time to speed up, then am I okay when the time I wish would speed up would also rapidly zip by when I am actually enjoying myself? Do I want my kids to grow up, move on, and move out sooner? Do I want to get old and succumb to my mortality sooner? Do I want the party over sooner?

I find it a pretty bold request to command to be in control of time and to have it work within the parameters of my desires. Am I willing to share this power? What if I am the guy in line in front of the time keeper at a McDonald’s drive through, and he wishes me to not be there? Do I vanish? Do I get my food quicker? These are the heavy mysteries people. Will I be wished out of the way?

I find rather than trying to control time and trying to control how others manage theirs, it is easier to make a stronger attempt at finding my own source of patience. I find once we find our source of patience, it is a humble beginning of surrender. Surrender in the fact that we find we are not alone, we do not control the universe, yet if we slow down, we can enjoy what unfolds around us.

When I am impatient, I find I am steeped in self-importance that propels me at light speed into the future. I focus on what I should be doing, where I should be going, what should be happening to me, and I miss where I am. Often in the stillness and slowness I am most often blessed with gratitude and the revealing why the patience is a gift. A gift because I can realize I can have both benefits.

In being patient I get the blessings of presence. Whether it is a few quiet moments in the sun, even if it is waiting in line at a drive through or in daily traffic, or if it is a moment of solitude as a wait behind the coupon lady at the grocery, these moments are mine. I can’t do anything about it. Oh yes, I can bitch, but I find I am still standing there in the same spot, just bitching. By choice. Still waiting.

I also eventually get what I am impatiently waiting for. I find that being impatient does not make the metaphorical universal UPS truck deliver my wishes any faster. My impatience only dictates how I feel as I close the gap between now and the delivery of my awaited circumstances. What I want to happen quicker does indeed happen, as it should and will on life’s terms, I just find through impatience I simply make the journey there more frustrating by choice.

Yes taking charge of certain elements is helpful. Of course preparation can speed progress. Absolutely we can do things to bring our desires to us quicker. Yet I find that impatience most often infiltrates us on the trivial level. I also find there are more trivial occurrences happening between the times our lives are punctuated by the big stuff.
Patience. I still need work, but I realize that I am the one who needs the work and that is okay. I just need it most when there is a line of cars between me and my Sausage McMuffin.


Allawalla said...

Well written, Tony! I really enjoy your post, especially this one. I agree with your observation of receiving the blessing of presence. I like to think in these waiting times that I am savoring Life.

When God wants you to learn Patience, He puts you position to exercise it. This rule applies to any virtue. Thanks for another insight and edifying blog!


Tony Anders said...

Thanks Bill - at times I may be getting alot of exercise! lol

Ardith Haws said...

I love this one! Thanks for the reminder.