Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Waiting for the fog to lift on a cool summer morning.
I was thinking as I walked this morning that this time between Ascension and Pentecost is an appropriate time to reflect on waiting. In Acts 1:4 Jesus orders the apostles "not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father." After Jesus disappears for the last time, they go to the room where they are staying and wait.
In a lot of situations I do not wait well. Driving these mountain roads does not prepare me to wait in city traffic. I will not wait in line for a restaurant. I go elsewhere. I don't like waiting in a doctor's office or for my car to be fixed or even for the ads in a TV program to be over.
But in other situations I seem especially suited to it. I can sit for an hour or two just gazing at the Lake. And waiting is what prayer largely is. Simone Weil tells us, "Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life." Other mystics tell us that prayer is more waiting than striving. I cannot make the Spirit of Love show up. Like the wind, the Spirit blows where it wills. I can only wait for the right conditions for the fog to lift.