Is waiting a uniquely human behavior? I suppose nomadic animals in herds wait. Or do they? I conjecture that when the herd moves on you either get with the pack or get picked off by the predators. Nothing in the wild waits but maybe the solitary predator. He waits for opportunity to hunt and kill so he can eat. Yet humans wait for all other reasons. We hurry up and wait. We wait for service. We wait for a sign. We wait for grace. We wait for the right time. We wait until things feel right. We wait. Is waiting simply a euphemism for fear or timidity or insecurity? Is waiting just a conditioned response we created as a substitute for Divinity?
I’m gonna wait right here until I am sure. And what am I waiting for? My inner voice to discern an answer? A sign to be revealed in the skies or stars? For assistance to arrive as if by serendipity? For help to be delivered by a messenger with a hand truck?
We wait….or at least I wait….in a hopeful space that either out of some deep recess in my heart or mind or from some gracious benefactor out in the world…..the solution will be plain. I have a dilemma, an obstacle, a task that feels insurmountable, an unpleasant feat before me or a harsh truth I wish to deny; I wait as if to lighten or diminish or dilute. Waiting may change the trajectory of my collision course with whatever is approaching. If I stop and wait right here, then the impact might be lessened. If I wait right here, salvation may arrive and thwart the collision.
Waiting is prudent. I think it is a uniquely human space. I think waiting argues for a sense of something greater or larger than “we”. Waiting implies a knowledge of “other”. Waiting and the finer art of patience are cultivated skills. We all know to wait, even as toddlers. We pause at the street corner and wait for traffic to clear. We wait from some innate knowledge base. But with time, experience and wisdom, we learn to wait patiently and hopefully. If we just wait a second or two…..we’ll get our answer.