Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Holy Pause


“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is "timing"
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
Fulton J. Sheen
Wait.
Wait.
Just wait.
One way or another, everything will resolve. 
One way or another, everything will be put in order.
Will everything end well?  I don’t know.  But I like to believe that if I step back from events just a little, if I can allow myself perspective, I can find a solution to what troubles me.  I don’t need to feel stressed, sad, angry, frustrated or impatient.  I know what I want.  I know that I don’t have what I want yet.  So I wait. 
What do I do while I wait?
Pray.
Work.
Enjoy my life.
Enjoy time with the people I love.
Be patient.
Waiting gives me perspective.  It allows me to step back from all the things that bother me and realize that they will all pass one way or another.  So, as I said, while I wait, I keep busy.  But before I get busy, I take a moment, just a moment, and do nothing.  Nothing at all.
Let me give an example of how this works.  Lately, my Internet hasn’t been working correctly.  I have to unplug and re-plug the modem in order to get normal service.   I called the cable provider, expecting that they would be able to fix the problem.  The woman said, “Sometimes the modems only last a while and you need to take it in and swap it for a new one.”
That wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
Now my first reaction in cases like this is to get frustrated.  I said thank you to the woman and hung up.  At first I was angry, but then I thought, “Wait.”
So I waited.  I paused.  As I did, I realize that I could choose anger or I could choose something else.  Sometimes anger is the right response, but in this case it wasn’t.  I wouldn’t have felt better. I would have just been angry and it would have felt unpleasant.  And I wouldn’t have resolved anything.
So I waited.  And as I waited two things happened.  First, I began to feel calm.  The anger and frustration disappeared.  Then I began thinking of solutions.  I could call and speak with a different person.  I could do what the woman said.  I could live with the problem.  I could hope it goes away (it probably won’t).  There might be other solutions.   The important thing is that I felt better.  The true problem, my frustration and anger, were resolved, even if my secondary problem, the dysfunctional cable box, wasn’t. 
I waited.  I call this waiting the Holy Pause.  It’s holy because it allows God to enter.  It allows peace to enter.  And it’s a pause.  During this pause I am silent.  I don’t move.  I wait.  It’s not a long pause, perhaps only a few seconds, but it’s very powerful and very effective. 
I can apply this to many situations.  If angry or unhappy thoughts come up, I can use the Holy Pause.  If I’m stuck in traffic, I can use the Holy Pause.  If someone says something hurtful, I can use the Holy Pause.  If I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I can use the Holy Pause.  I can use it throughout the day.  I can gain control of my actions and emotions. When I do that, I can be peaceful and happy.  I can Get Started and Keep Going...while I wait.