Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wait Without Hope

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
—T. S. Eliot

As many of you may know, I am not the most patient of people. I have no patience with imperfection or procrastination in myself or others. I like to plan because then I feel like I am doing something, even while I am waiting for a particular event to actually occur. I appreciate consistency and usually try to get things done even ahead of time. If something needs to get done, why wait? Do it now!

One of the things for which I have the least patience is people telling me to be patient. This has been happening to me a lot lately because while my friends are getting married and having babies, I am still incredibly single. “Just wait, your turn is coming. God must have something better in store for you,” is the most common sentiment I hear, usually from happily married people.

While I do not doubt my advisors’ kind intentions, I have trouble grasping their implications. How can they possibly know what the future holds for me? How am I supposed to keep hoping for something which may never happen? Hope is defined as a “confident expectation.” Therefore, by definition, I cannot place any hope in an uncertain event.

There is no guarantee of happiness in this life. Life itself is not guaranteed. What is promised is that we will be able to handle it. As I continue to wait for love, I find myself having to redefine waiting. This is not something that I can rush. I have no control and no option other than patience. However, as I continue to hope, I continue to be disappointed.

Now, I find myself learning to wait without an object of hope. I’m sure you have also experienced this unique brand of faith. Whether you found yourself waiting for a job, a child, a car… whatever it may be, this incredibly human experience of doubt is unmistakable. I am becoming convinced that as we redefine our expectations, we redefine ourselves through a growing understanding of real life.

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