Do you ever feel as though you spend your whole life waiting?
Waiting for better health, for a better relationship, for the lottery or that elusive big break at work or in business.
When I know what I’m waiting for, tension is relieved only when my want appears. But the relief is usually short lived. Almost as soon as it (what ever it is) arrives and the honeymoon period of its delivery over, I am back to waiting again. For another win, another high, another commission, one that might take me to the elusive next level.
Other times I find myself discontentedly waiting, but I can’t quite identify what for. That is the worst kind of waiting. Isn’t it? You don’t know what it is you want, but you seem prepared to wait your whole life for it happen.
I have been waiting a lot lately. For phone calls saying that the deal is on, that I have been nominated for a prestigious award or that some earth mover at HBO has stumbled synchronistically across my work and wants me to write a seminal television series that they can franchise all around the world.
I don’t like waiting.
I don’t like how waiting makes me feel. Like some narcissistic little clod of mud that is only concerned with its own patch on planet earth. Waiting is always about me!
It is very perplexing. It plays havoc with my digestion.
There is an old adage in the screen trade that says ‘if you are waiting, you are not working.’ Kettles that are scrutinised never boil, emails eagerly anticipated always seem to miss your in-box and important phone calls never arrive on time, if at all.
Perhaps this is because the very act of waiting interrupts the process, like constantly digging up a seed to see if it has grown yet.
It hints at a lack of faith.
Can you imagine a farmer planting his crop and sitting by the field day-in, day-out, cross-checking nature to make sure that He is doing His work? Or a child sitting under an apple tree all year impatiently waiting for the seasonal fruit? Even the thought of it is insane. And yet, in our every day life that is all we seem to do. Wait.
I am often the worst offender. Sitting in my mediation praying for the waiting to be over, asking for a sign, an omen, willing the deal to be done already or the cheque to be sent.
Then I had a revelation.
I was walking through my local country park, Coomb Abbey in Coventry, thinking about the amount of projects I was sitting on and wondering if (and when) they might ever come to fruition.
Then I saw it. Well, I should say I saw them.
They were lying on the floor all around me and in abundance. Some were still in their shells, some were climbing out and others were bronzed and naked on the grass. They had fallen from the huge Horse Chestnut Tree that I was walking under, these conkers, and they had fallen neither early nor too late.
They had released themselves at exactly the moment mother nature knew they were ready. You didn’t have to throw sticks to encourage their release and neither did you have to crawl along the branches and pluck them free. They fell when they were ready. And when they fell, they were perfect.
I picked up one of the conkers that was still nestling in half a shell and eased it out. I was astounded! It was absolutely and unequivocally beautiful. I was massively inspired. I remember thinking to myself, this is what I want! I do not want my dreams and ambitions to come to me early and sour and underdeveloped just because I am in a hurry to see the fruits of my labour. I do not want half baked and hurried results. I want what this conker has; perfection. Not just in my many projects, but also in me. I am in development too, but always in a hurry to be perfect before the purification is through. And perfection can only come (I told my self) if I am patient and if I have faith.
The moment I got this I was able to let go of the waiting and get back on with the working, knowing and trusting that what I labour for will come in its own season, and not before. And no amount of worry or stress or anxiety is going to help or hurry the process. Quite the opposite in fact; it might be a hindrance – it could spoil, or even end, your dreams if you try and force a premature delivery.
So trust that if you do the work, your wait will have been worth its while.