Waiting is my most dreaded word. Impatience, I guess, is my second name. I would fail the marshmallow test, had I taken it when I was little. I don't get impatient though on just anything but only on things that mean a lot to me, things that matter to me, things that give me joy and life, and they are not even just things; usually it is not something but someone.
Praying is a consequence of waiting. When impatience sinks in, and one can't wait any longer, one prays. The word is beg; one begs that the waiting be over.Soon. Now, if possible. One begs that the answer to one's prayer be heard. One begs that the answer be given already.
Countless times I have begged for an answer. It's been so long that I have waited for the answer. It made me think that maybe, just maybe, the answer is not coming; or that it is a no. Maybe I have to stop waiting. I have to start moving on. And so did I. Then it hit me! The answer is right in front of me all along! The answer has been the answer all along. The answer is the answer I begged, I prayed, I waited for.
Suddenly, I am humbled. My God indeed has listened to my prayer. Even before I begged for it, he has already given me the answer. It just took me a while to recognize it, or if I had, it took me a while to accept that it is indeed what I asked for. It may not be in the form I imagined the answer would come, but it is still the answer I need. And the surprising thing about it is, the waiting is still not over. The waiting is never-ending. It pushes me to continue to hope, continue to live, continue to love.
I guess waiting is inevitable for someone who loves. Waiting is the fire that burns the heart to love more passionately, more deeply, more selflessly. As James Donelan, SJ in his article "The Sacrament of Waiting" puts it, "For if we never learn to wait, we will never learn to love someone other than ourselves."