In The Waiting, January 21 Daily Reflection

Opening a gift

Can I open it? Can I open it now? Please, Please, Pleassseee!

Those words are so familiar to all moms, words of excitement and anticipation. Our children do not enjoy the process of waiting for anything. So our children are begging to open a gift as soon as they see it, which is probably a natural part of childhood.

As we age I think our childhood habits sometimes are rediscovered. Some of us as adults still rip into that paper without thought. Some of us try to guess what is inside the gift. Some of us just stare at the gift and treasure the paper, the bow and how pretty it looks. Some of us take our time opening the paper ever so carefully. Some of us don’t want to open the gift at all because then the anticipation is over and the gift is never as good as the anticipation and hope of what it may be.

In our culture we want to know what is going to happen, what is around that next corner. We want to know our future. We go to psychics and palm readers, horoscopes and others who may have visions of the future. We want to be prepared and we don’t want to wait and see, it takes too much patience, time and effort. We devalue the wait; in fact we hate the wait, waiting in lines, waiting on hold, waiting for others to move more quickly. We want everything to move at a quick pace so we don’t have to stop our constant flow of motion. What happens when we stop? We actually catch our breath and hold still. Is that really so bad? Is that red light that takes 50 seconds really going to make the difference in our entire day? Is rushing passed the little old lady at the store really going to speed you up that much in your life?

Perhaps, just perhaps we could take those times we must wait and embrace the pause from all the action. Maybe we could just be still and allow our minds to have a break, allow our breathing to slow a bit. Possibly we could watch the little old lady and think of how one day we will be her and wonder what it is like to walk in her shoes this very day. It’s only a thought, but if we were to take advantage of those brief moments of waiting and see them as a little gift, a rest for our minds and our bodies then we could enjoy them and find awareness of the life around us.

Try it today, don’t rip open the wrapping paper and be done with the process of opening a gift. Instead appreciate that someone gave it to you and let them have a moment to watch you enjoy opening the gift. Don’t get ticked off waiting for the light to turn colors instead look at the person in the car next to you and acknowledge that we are not alone in this world. Stop rushing through your life and allow yourself a little break in the waiting.

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