Waiting Hours

To be waiting for something seems to be the common lot of humanity. If anyone doubts this, he has only to look into the deepest recesses of his own heart and see what he finds there. If he is like most of us, he will see that for a long time he has been waiting for something to happen, or to cease happening; for some one to do something, or to stop doing something; for something to come, or something to go; for something, somehow, somewhere, to change so that things will be a little different from what they now are. It may be an open secret in which all sympathetically share; it may be unguessed even by his closest friends; it may be unacknowledged even to himself; yet there it lies, in his daily thought, that delayed, hoped-for something for which he is longing, alone with God.

In this journey from the bondage of material beliefs into light and freedom we are fellow travelers, in all states and stages of spiritual advancement. Some are going rapidly, some are going slowly, all are making some progress; but to most of us there comes a time, sooner or later, when the path ahead suddenly grows so dark and uncertain that all we can seem to do is just to stand still and hold fast to the Father's hand. Such moments, indeed, are trying in a rare degree, for there are but few who have learned the sublime truth of the poet's statement, "They also serve who only stand and wait." Mortal mind does not like to wait; in fact, it heartily objects to waiting. Tenacious of its cherished plans, ungrateful for correction, and resentful of delay, it wants what it wants immediately; and failing to receive it, it indulges in impatience, fretfulness, and rebellion. Yet waiting is a really wonderful thing to him who has so risen above the mists of self-pity, self-condemnation, and self-righteousness that he can discern the lesson it brings.

Lessons from an Iceberg
January 26, 1918

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