As Daddy sits in the same recliner, for hours on end every day, waiting for and hoping for the healing of his pieced-together-with-metal-plates-and-screws ankle, I think about this thing called waiting.
My father has never been a patient person. He’d rather arrive an hour early than be ten minutes late. He enjoys being outdoors, doing and going. Before his fall in November, he had already walked 303 miles in 2012, and that is only counting his time at the walking track. Every year, he wears his walking shoes plumb out, and clocks the mileage of each pair faithfully. You’d never guess he is 85.
Being suddenly forced off his feet and off his schedule presents challenges for him, that is clear. But he is handling them well. I am really proud—maybe a bit surprised—by the attitude he displays on even the longest of days. He has accepted that which he cannot change. At various times, I pass by him napping in the recliner, or reading his Bible, or the newspaper, or staring off into space. How I wish I could wave a magic wand and his ability to walk would return, but I can’t. And so, together, we wait.
As I see it, the ability to wait, without grumbling, is the crowning of maturity. Those who insist on having everything now often end up with nothing later.
We could all learn a lesson from the farmer: He tills. He plants. He waters. Then, he waits. The farmer knows that, in time, his patience will bring a harvest of good things to his table, providing strength and sustenance for the days ahead. I think it’s remarkable to consider that farmers feed the world. They grow everything from grain and rice, to vegetables, fruits, and nuts. But none of these things come to us without the practice of patience.
Good things can come to those who learn to wait.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:3-4