We are waiting. Always, it seems, we are waiting. We wait in the moment, and we wait for what arises next. We await the melody of a loved one’s voice, the fall of a soft footstep, and the sound of the telephone. We wait in long lines at the bank, the grocery store, and the post office. We think, we pace, we tap our fingers—and we wait. Life, it seems, is an endless spiral of doing and waiting. We await the results of tests, of business matters, and of life’s turmoil that seems—and often is—beyond our control. It is how we wait, the manner in which we wait, that is of the greatest importance.
This morning, a dear friend wrote, “Waiting. Waiting in the presence of God. I am at peace NO MATTER what the results are. God is in control of ALL THINGS! ‘I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27.’” I marveled at the stoic, graceful message written in the midst of awaiting the results of a skin cancer biopsy. When faced with a choice of waiting in angst or serenity, this lovely woman—mother of a young daughter—chose serenity. What an extraordinary example she has set for her husband, her daughter, her family, and her friends. She is an inspiration–a study in courage, dignity, and grace.
My beautiful friend’s situation has reminded me of the importance of embracing a peaceful internal attitude. When a sense of serenity becomes part of one’s very core, the waves of life do not crash over us and draw us ever under. Instead, while waters may surge and rise, we learn to remain internally calm and secure despite the strong swells. The claws of fear and anxiety want to set in and give rise to turmoil and angst, yet we have the power to call upon our inner serenity It is in those darkest of moments that it seems we have no choice, yet it is in these times that faith—sweet, resplendent faith—hears our pleas if we await and heed her voice.
The outcomes of this journey of life are never certain. All our planning, crafting, and creating can do little but guide us in the direction we hope to go. Yet, the great mystery of life has its own plans for each one of us. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it God, call it nothing at all—this journey is not truly one of our own making. There are wondrous forces and powers far beyond our control. We, each one of us, retain great power and responsibility in this journey. While we cannot control that which is outside of ourselves, we can—and very much do—control that which is in our internal world and our small sphere of influence.
It is in our waiting within this journey of life that we can choose to rise, to shine, and to love. Do we wait with soft tears and steady breath? Do we hold grace and integrity dear to our hearts? Does loving kindness—for ourselves and for others—radiate from our souls? In life’s most challenging moments, do we offer a prayer of serenity and gratitude? Do we wait with dignity and courage, or do we crumble. In our waiting, do we harm others or do we choose to be a gentle guiding light?
In this world that is so full of challenges and worries, we have the option of choosing an inner peace that “isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives.” We—each one of us—can learn to call upon and maintain the serenity that holds us safe and calm amidst life’s turmoil. It is in knowing this simple truth that we find profound inner freedom and peace. Your inner sanctuary is waiting; it is ever present and waiting just for you.
My wish for you, now and during this Holiday Season, is a peace so enduring and strong that you are held safely within its arms during even the most trying of times. And so, I offer you an ancient blessing and prayer, “May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be safe from inner and outer danger. May you be well in body, mind, and spirit. May you be truly happy and free.”
Note: This posting is dedicated to my beautiful friend, Nancy. May you be ever blessed with love, health, and peace.