Do you ever feel like you’re waiting all the time?
I feel like I’m always waiting for things to start. Waiting for summer. Waiting for my birthday. Waiting for the next season of Downton Abbey. Waiting for that unrealistically perfect man to suddenly materialise with his hand in mine… anything is possible, right? Always, so much waiting.
And during this waiting, I find myself picturing moments that will take place once the thing I’m waiting for finally happens. I dream of jumping into cool waters in the midst of summer heat. Opening up that present I’ve been hinting at since last year. Watching Mary and Matthew melodramatically say, ‘I do.’
So, here’s the thing. I do so much waiting and dreaming, that by the time that ‘thing’ finally comes along, I find myself so excited it’s finally here that I rush through it. I just want the beginning of it to end so I can get to the middle of it. I want to get to ‘the good moments’; the moments I’ve been picturing during all my not so patiently waiting.
But what about the beginning? What about those starting moments? Or what about those moments just before something begins?
The breath an athlete takes before a run. The pause a musician takes before the song. The stillness of vision before a painter touches the brush to the canvas.
Picture that moment. The anticipation of what is coming. The momentary slowness of the experience. The calm before the rush. Until… the runner takes that first step. The musician plays that first note. The painter makes that first stroke. Everything speeds up and before you know it, the race is run, the song is sung, and the canvas is painted.
Now pause. Go back to that beginning moment. Allow yourself to live in that moment.
Over the summer, I came upon this verse in Ecclesiastes and quickly fell in love with it: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.’ (Ecclesiastes 3vv.11-13)
I often have to stop and remind myself to be present where I am. I look back on my life and find that when something good was just starting, a certain slowness and patience could be found. I can never fully understand God’s plans, but when I stop to embrace every little moment, I find that I can feel His presence. If I let myself live fully from every beginning, I give myself the chance to see the beauty that God is slowly unfolding around me.
When I stop to appreciate the beginning of something, and tell myself to let it unfold naturally, I find that I am often allowed little pleasant surprises that I might have missed otherwise. And that’s what is so beautiful about a beginning. It’s never quite what you expect it to be.
Words by Heidi LuReign
Photograph by Mikhail Sirgoski