This week in church we talked about waiting.
Sometimes, we have to wait for things, and sometimes that waiting feels heavy and horrible. It's not just the everyday impatience we might feel about a slow-moving snag in traffic or a restaurant that's taking forever to bring our food. It's that deep longing that gnaws away at our hearts or sense of self, making us feel like we are somehow less than we should be.
I have been thinking a lot lately about these periods of longing and how to live through them. If you are waiting for something that you have some control over, you can certainly work on bringing it about, but there is so much in life that we may long for that we ultimately cannot make happen through sheer force of effort. In that case, all we can control is our posture during the waiting. Do we wait in hope or in fear? Do we let the longing consume us or allow it to be one small part of our existence?
This week in church we talked about acting in hope, even when you don't feel it.
Sometimes we need to move forward as if hope is there, even if we don't really feel it. We need to apply for the job, go on the awkward online date, or take a step towards reconciliation with a friend. We need to reach out, make a plan, or try something new.
One thing that I like to ask myself from time to time is, "what would a person do if they knew this would all work out?" Usually, it amounts to doing whatever work I need to do, but with the lightness of hope instead of the heavy emptiness of sorrow.
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