Friday, December 04, 2015

Advent Six

Waiting takes us to the edge of ourselves.

Not from the centre, outward, coming to our end, beyond which we are not; but travelling in the other direction, arriving at the border beyond which we are.

That is why a decision made in haste so very often turns out badly, in the long-term: because one does not adequately know who it is that is making the decision (me) and on what basis they (that is, I) do so.* But to have to wait, whether as a result of our own limitations or the limitations of someone else, opens up a space that wasn’t there before – a four-dimensional space (that is, composed of both physical space, and time) – in which we can be found, and known.

However, this only happens when we understand waiting not as the opposite of action, but as a key action for living well.

If I truly believed this, what difference would it make to how I live? Who would I seek out as a conversation partner, in order to get to know myself better, and in order to get to know someone else – not (in either case) as a problem to fix, but as a person to delight in?

*Of course, repeatedly making decisions in haste results in recurring bad outcomes; which in turn feed the pressure to make decisions in haste.

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