A Time to Wait

During the mid-1900s, Samuel Becket wrote a play called Waiting for Godot. The title refers to a character who never arrives, although the play’s two main characters wait continually throughout the play.

Doesn’t that seem a little like life?  We do a lot of waiting. Although some things come, not everything does.

How many everyday things involve waiting? If we wait long enough for the hot water to actually get hot, it does–as long as the hot water heater is working. Traffic lights eventually turn green. Grocery store lines eventually shorten. The mail arrives. As does the end of the work day for those who’re not retired.

And, yes, the weekend eventually comes as well.

Not all waits are created equal. We might be waiting for a bill we wish would never come. The weekend may involve activities we’d rather avoid.

Sometimes we’re waiting impatiently for something because it’s really special. A long-awaited purchase. A far-better-than-average vacation. Retirement. The publication of a writer’s first book. Or the birth of a baby–no matter whether it’s the woman’s first or her dozenth.

Sometimes we’re waiting for something bad to get better. For cancer treatments to work. For an abusive spouse to learn to control his or her anger. To get debt under control.

I suspect we’re all waiting for some things we’re not overly optimistic about. Honest politicians who work for their constituents and who believe in biblical principles and constitutional law. The end of nuclear weapons. Peace on earth.

And of course there are things like The Rapture and Jesus’s Second Coming, depending on which you believe will come first. Christians wait as expectantly as they can, hoping those events will happen soon. Unfortunately, despite the signs we see daily, there’s no guarantee anything related to the end of the age will happen during our lifetime.

At the moment–you don’t really think I wait till Sunday morning to write these posts, do you?–my wife and I are waiting for someone to come give us an estimate for some new flooring. That wait is okay, though. We’ve had to–there’s that word again!–wait a long time to save enough to pay for it.

Honestly, though, I’m more concerned about how much longer I’ll have to wait to pass this kidney stone!

What about you? Are there some things you are especially conscious of or bothered about having to wait for? How about sharing a comment?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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Frustrated Perfectionist

For many years I’ve thought of myself as a perfectionist. A frustrated one.

But how can a person be a perfectionist without being frustrated? “Frustrated” almost seems to be redundant when used with “perfectionist.”

I’m reminded of that that every time I write a new song, make a new home recording, or write a new novel. God has given me the necessary talents to do those three things, and He’s helped me to grow in my ability to use those skills effectively.

Each of those activities requires constant practice, and I must not only accept the fact that improvement comes slowly, but that I will never be as good at any of those things as I would like to be.

What would it feel like to be the BEST–at anything? If I could just complete one project that didn’t leave me saying, “That’s the best I can do for now. I could keep working at it, but the additional changes and improvements would be minimal. Not worth the effort. Why should I settle for less than perfect, though? Don’t I don’t know how to do it better? How does it honor God to call it complete now?”

Whenever I read one of my old novels–published or unpublished–the imperfections that didn’t matter then wave a red flag in my face. As if saying, “How did you dare to think you were done with that?” When I listen to my home recordings of original songs, I almost invariably regret not having tried one last time to improve one part, usually the vocal.

Interestingly (to me, anyhow), I sometimes make minor changes to one of my songs years after I wrote it. Maybe I realize I changed the chord I used at a particular place. Other times I lower a note here or there because I can no longer hit the original note(s) (assuming I ever could).

And–this is a relatively new development–I’ve actually gone back and added refrains or bridges to several of my older songs.

Why did I do those things? Was it because my desire to be perfect–or to come closer to being perfect–took over?

I hope not. I hope it’s because my skills in a particular area have grown and I see those as places to apply them.

Will I ever outgrow being a frustrated perfectionist? Will I ever be fully satisfied with a project I call completed because I simply can’t do any better, no matter how much I want to?

I doubt it. But as long as God keeps helping me to sharpen my talents,  I can look forward to each new project and thank Him that it was better than the previous one. Maybe not in every way, but still somehow better.

What about you? Do you find it easy to let go of something you’ve done–maybe even a task at work–and put it behind you? Or do you keep looking for ways to improve it when quite possibly you don’t have the skills or the know-how to do better? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger