|The waiting bench|
Think of a time in your life when you have been waiting. Waiting is said to grow patience, or perhaps test patience. Is it in the testing where the growing takes place? Does the growing create the patience? I'm not sure. I do however feel that in the waiting is when I start to feel as if I am in the hallway of life.
I imagine a dimly lit hallway. It's narrow and quiet, without windows. There are dark, heavy, wooden doors along both sides of the hallway. They each have a frosted pane in the middle that doesn’t allow me to see into them, even if I tried. All the doors are closed. The walls are painted light green because the person who chose the paint color once read green is supposed to be tranquil. Florescent lights run along the middle of the hallway's ceiling. Only a portion of the lights are working. There is a low buzzing sound as a few of the bulbs kick on and off. I am sitting on a wooden and uncomfortable bench along one of the walls of the hallway. I am alone. Leaning back into the bench does not offer comfort or support. Leaning forward by placing my elbows onto my knees only puts pressure on the backs of my knees which are now pressed tighter against the rigid and inflexible wood. I remain on the bench, fidgeting and impatiently waiting for wait to be over. The air is stale and I am bored. There is really nothing to do but wait.
When I was little my faith-filled Gram used to tell me, "When God closes a door, He opens a window." This was not new news to me. There were times in my life when I could see a certain amount of truth in this old adage. I would however prefer to spend my time trying to sweet-talk my way into keeping the key to the door. What good would a window do when I had a working door? Perhaps it is because I’ve always been more skeptic than faith-filled. It’s a battle of the wills with me. I have to surrender my own plans time and time again.
It’s in those moments that I must see the bench for what it is. I read once, “there’s nothing wrong with you except your attitude.” The bench is only doing its job. It’s meant to just be there, to offer a seat to one who is waiting. I don’t think there is to be comfort in the waiting. If I became comfortable in that greenish hallway I wouldn’t crave to move on. I think I’m even supposed to hate the waiting, at least a little. Possibly though it’s just accepting the crappiness of the waiting. I mean the hallway doesn’t even have a window.
I am currently in a time of waiting in my life. It is uncomfortable. It is causing me to question my abilities. I keep trudging along though. I have people in my corner who too have sat in the hallway and played the waiting game. I can reach out to them and they will reflect back to me my true nature, empathize with me, and comfort me. They help me see past the waiting game. I am reminded to be optimistic.
“Optimism is an elected attitude, a form of emotional courage. It is a habit that can and must be learned if we are to survive…In order to survive we must master optimism, not as a form of denial but as a deeply rooted faith that we are somehow partnered in way we cannot see. We must look for the silver lining, knowing there is always one.” ~Julia Cameron
Thanks for reading...and I cannot believe Google turned up a representation of the bench I imagined!