There are things that are worth waiting for. We all know this in some way, just drink an aged bottle of wine or beer: it is so good! Eat some homemade ice cream instead of buying a carton from the store and you’ll see it is worth the wait! Not kissing your girlfriend or boyfriend until the tenth date makes a huge difference! Even Christmas is awesome because you hold off on opening gifts, even when you know exactly what they are going to be, the passing of the time makes it special!
You might already be annoyed with me writing all this because while waiting for things is usually beneficial and good for growing in the virtue of patience, it can still be painful! I know I want to have everything set for my future, with all the answers, and my life all figured out, but life simply does not work that way.
I was praying about some of these things in my life the other day having to do with the future and I ran across this line in the Catechism that stopped me in my tracks: “God communicates himself to man gradually.” (CCC 53) It made me stop, think and realize God does not rush things. He showed who he was slowly to the Israelites, His own chosen people! Even now, it takes time to discover who he is, and to know about him. God wants to be enjoyed slowly and intentionally, and even asks we take one day of the week to just be with him and enjoy his presence! All our plans we have are nothing compared to his plan for us, yet His plan for us unfolds when it needs to.
I’ve been hanging out with one of my best friends and she keeps reminding me over and over again, “Live in the moment”. It’s annoying, but as I have come to realize it is also extremely important to do! Part of the beauty of anticipation, is learning to live in the moment, and to savor everything that comes our way. I remember when I was in high school and constantly would say to myself, “I can’t wait to grow up”. If I were to go back in time to my younger self, I would’ve slapped him. Lets face it, life gets more difficult when you get older, but also because you waste a lot of time focusing on what could be. That’s the thing: we have no idea what will be, only what is going on now.
Now I am by no means telling people to not make any plans, or to not think ahead or to not make decisions for the future. No way! We would get nothing accomplished if that were the case; all I am saying is to enjoy every moments we are in. Even in the painful moments we should be taking note of what is going on. These painful times could be huge learning moments for the future.
In Genesis, God takes Abraham outside and tells him to look up at the sky, “Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so… will your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5). Maybe you are like me and always heard that and thought about Abraham going out at night to look at the stars, all the future descendents and just being lost in that moment. But, I later learned that it was probably day time when Abraham went outside to look at the sky, which means, he probably did not see many stars. It did not mean they were not there though, there are millions of stars in the sky but it takes time to for them to come out. It took waiting for the sun to go down, for Abraham to even realize the full potential of what God was giving to him. Sometimes we have to be just as patient as Abraham.
God is communicating himself to us gradually, his plan for us is slowly unfolding, and he lets each story come to be in its own unique time and in its own unique way. So we should not waste time thinking ahead to what will come next, let us rather enjoy each moment as it happens, treasuring the life we have now, and thanking God for it.