by Julie Redstone
"Waiting, therefore, when life-circumstances require it, asks of us to make a choice with respect to which 'I' we wish to direct our lives. We can be impatient. We can feel that life is treating us unfairly. We can feel optimistic or pessimistic. Or we can accept the postponement of what our human embodied self would wish to have happen, and allow our smaller self to rest in the embrace of the larger. Waiting allows us to practice devotion in any area of life. It creates a transformational path through surrender. This path is not easy to follow, for the history of the ego being in charge has been a long one, and any efforts to move in a different direction is likely to arouse complaint. No, this is the narrow gate by which those who choose to will pass, not through the mastery of external life-circumstances, but through mastery of the self alone.
The rewards of this narrow way can be described in one essential word – Love. Along this way there becomes only one Thinker and one Intender, and that Thinker is the One who is the Source of all of life. This relationship, whose means is surrender, is built on Love. It is a relationship that can begin at any time, at any place, and in any circumstance. It's basic prayer is: "Show me the way. Lead me and guide me in Thy light." This prayer does not disempower the self as some feel in relation to the word 'surrender'. It redefines who the self is, and seeks to unite the lower self with the higher. This is what makes the practice of waiting transformative.
Such a practice does not have to apply to every area of life, but it can. And it does not have to be pursued deliberately, for there are many circumstances in life that find us in the normal course of events, making it unnecessary for us to go looking for them. What the sacred practice of waiting involves is a willingness to use these circumstances of life as steps along a spiritual path. Such a path has been carved out by many holy men and women of the past and it remains equally valid today as a path of ascendance. It is a matter of having the courage to embrace what is difficult, and to know that in the embracing, one is not sacrificing one's real self.
One is releasing the aspects of self that are less real in favor of those that are more real, in keeping with the lines of the poem that say:
Lord, lead me from the less real to the more real,
From the finite to the infinite,
From death to immortality."