Monday, December 13, 2004

Delayed Gratification

Waiting for God - Henri Nouwen
- Source: Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas [Bruderhof Daily Dig]

Waiting is not a very popular attitude. In fact, most people consider it a waste of time. Perhaps this is because our culture is basically saying, "Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don't just sit there and wait!" For many people, waiting is an awful desert between where they are and where they want to go. And people do not like such a place. They want to get out of it by doing something.

In our particular historical situation, waiting is even more difficult because we are so fearful. One of the most pervasive emotions in the atmosphere around us is fear. People are afraid - afraid of inner feelings, afraid of other people, and also afraid of the future. And fearful people have a hard time waiting.
I walked down the aisles in the toy section, looking for something in particular: a model to build with my son. Some cool car, or plane, or spacecraft - even something sci-fi would be okay. Just looking for a model - build together, do it right, patience 'til it's done, display it proudly. I think we'll start with a snap-together car, maybe something a little more detailed with glue. then maybe another one that's a little more involved, a little more difficult. I want this to be one Christmas present that's got the lesson "delayed gratification is a good thing" behind it.

T-boy has a table that'll work just right for the project, and if it can stretch out a few days it'll be better than rushing to get it done in one evening. I just want to leave something from this Christmas that's not Spongebob, not Gamecube, not DVD or Nickelodeon related... something that will take time... that will go on display... that will show him what some work and creativity can do around here.


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