Lance Scranton: Time to wait
Time is one of those concepts that can be difficult to wrap your mind around. Seconds, minutes and hours measure days, weeks, and years. All I know for certain is that time waits for nobody, yet we spend a large measure of our life waiting.
“Just wait!” If you are a kid. Or, the favorite imperative of any large organization, “Hurry up and wait.”
“I’ll wait” is the promise of a friend or the refrain of a jilted lover.
We wait for letters, e-mails, tracking numbers, election results, the birth of a child, or for a decision to be revealed. Some of us are good waiters who don’t get all crazy about the time between what is supposed to happen and what actually does. Others push the envelope and can’t stand the time between that which is, and what will be. Too bad we don’t really understand how the time between two things really works out when we are waiting for something to happen.
Most of us have been forced to wait for the inevitable bad news of a result we can’t control or have smiled in anticipation of something we know is going to happen and it’s really good! It’s the fact that in our culture and society that we have a real issue with wait time and technology hasn’t helped out with our patience very much. Most of us are programmed by our digital world to spend very little time waiting for anything. We want immediate information and results right now and it tends to carry over into other aspects of our lives.
When you have an app for everything and the promise is for more time to do the things you want because of the interactive, user-friendly, intuitive nature of the technology, we bite down hard on the promise of more time. But more time for what? Time to add more stress to our lives because we don’t like waiting? Waiting is a lost art that allows us so much more than simply stressing out about why things aren’t happening right now, this instant, on my timetable.
Remember the days pondering your future in front of a newspaper or compiling a plan for some activity as you read a book, or thought about some future possibility as you waited for a meal, or considered how things might be different as you anticipated next week’s episode of your favorite television program? Those days are long gone and forgotten in a world that can binge-watch episodes, get meals delivered to your door, and have information immediately available to us 24-7.
Maybe waiting might be good for us, and maybe it’s okay that everything in our lives doesn’t happen at warp speed. Maybe time to wait is a gift. Maybe that’s why it is called the present. Maybe living in the future all the time doesn’t allow us to fully grasp or appreciate what is going on in our lives right now. Maybe we do have time to wait. Maybe we would be so much happier as the holiday season approaches.