Wanting or Waiting
“Wanting or Waiting” by Rev. Christine 9/9/01 (revised ) 7/12/2020
Today’s talk titled “Wanting or Waiting” is partially based upon the book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. There are two kinds of waiting. The kind of waiting where you are in a state of wanting, which isn’t in the now, or there is the kind of waiting in expectation of the now.
To better qualify wanting what isn’t, think about being in a waiting line. We Americans spend much of our life in waiting lines. A matter of fact we spend much of our leisure time in waiting lines and we even pay to wait in them. The last time I went to Disenyland, I waited with my family, and many others too, for over 2 hours to ride the “Temple of Doom.” Which I think lasted at the most about 2 minutes, if that.
We wait in line for the bank teller, in purchasing our groceries, or ticket line for that latest special movie, or we sit and wait checking our e-mail or searching the Internet, the numerous stop lights or traffic jams, the great wait to see your doctor or for your test results, for someone to arrive, or waiting for your next vacation, waiting for your children to grow up, or waiting for your ship to come in.
It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living. Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that a person doesn’t want the future; and doesn’t want the present moment. People don’t want what they’ve got, and want what they don’t have. With every kind of waiting, we unconsciously create inner conflict between our here and now, where we don’t want to be, and the projected future, is where we want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of our life by making us lose the present moment. We truly only have the present, the now.
While waiting in one of those lines, how is this time being used? What is our attitude of mind. Does this become an opportunity to pollute the atmosphere with our negative mind chatter, rude comments, or timed sighs, grunts or clearing of throat, or are we rehashing and dwelling in the past.
Or worse yet, worrying about the future – of being late. Remember the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Always, carrying that clock running around like a lunatic – can’t be late or off with your head. Do you recognize yourself in any of this, or someone you know?
But where’s the joy if not in this very moment? Having goals is good, planning is good, and preparing is good. Its all good, and is an important part of life too. But, when we are so much in the future, that the present moment doesn’t seem to count except for where it can get us too, then we have lost being in the now.
We’ve heard the saying “time is money” which takes quality of all living out of the moment. We have replaced this saying now with “time is art.” Take a moment to feel the difference. First say to yourself, “time is money” now “time is art.” The first one makes me feel rushed, anxious. While the latter as “time is art” gives a feeling of beauty, opportunity for self expression, which is really living life. We are then being present moment by moment, creatively creating each experience.
Now we are moving in to another kind of waiting. The kind the Bible teaches us, that Jesus the Christ spoke about. Echkart Tolle tells us that the power of Now is the power of your presence, your consciousness liberated from thought forms.
He also states, “that we are living in levels of unconsciousness.” Or, as I would say sleep walking. We think we’re conscious, consciously driving our car. But, how many times do people go in automatic and not even realize how they got there – passing all those houses and streets.
I think about those years of commuting when I was actually a sleep, in a state of day dreaming. Just think about all those other drivers where are they? It’s a wonder how few accidents we really do have. There must be something else watching over us – thank God.
Jesus used waiting or watching for a different kind of wait. The kind of waiting that allows us to open a gate or door so to speak to a higher state of consciousness. This kind of waiting is a watchfulness that takes total alertness. As if something could happen at any moment, and if not absolutely awake, absolutely still, it will be missed.
In that state, all our attention is in the Now. There is no thought left for daydreaming, thinking, remembering, anticipating. There is no tension in it, no fear, just alert presence. We are present with our whole Being, with every cell of our body.
This is what is meant by silent meditation, or also known as the prayer of silence. It is a stillness of mind – no thought – yet fully alert and awake in the very moment. It is in the state of being, that we experience our divine self, the master within is revealed, the Christ, Holy Spirit, to some Buddha, or God.
Jesus teachings were all about preparing ourselves for this mystical experience, which is referred to as a marriage. The mystical marriage of our consciousness to the Christ Mind. The bride awaits for the groom knowing not when in the hour he shall come – but must always be prepared, or the appointed time shall be missed.
The following parable in Luke 12:35-40, gives an example of watchful waiting. “Let your girdle be fastened on your loins, and your lamps lighted. And be like men who expect their master when he will return from the wedding house; so that when he comes and knocks, they will immediately open the door for him. Blessed are those servants, whom their master, when he comes finds awake; truly I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down, and come in and serve them.
“If he should come in the second or the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house knew at what watch the thief would come, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be plundered. Therefore, you also be ready; for the Son of man will come in that very hour which you do not expect.”
Being ready in a state of readiness is more than just sitting, reciting a few words, toning or chanting, and then allowing your mind to wander off, drifting off in twilight unconsciousness or dream states of colorful visionary experiences, or the return of the mind chatter. It is a watchfulness, and when we notice these experiences of the mind – we then as the master of our house we bring it back to attention.
The Parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the announcement of the arrival of the bridegroom to be lead on to the wedding ceremony and celebration, this is another example of being prepared.
We have the 5 foolish virgins who waste away their time on foolish things, putting off til it is too late to get oil for their lamps. They ask to borrow from the 5 wise virgins who have their lamps full of oil, and are told “no” for their wouldn’t be enough for their lamps. The 5 foolish virgins didn’t get their oil in time. Being dark they were not recognized and were not let in.
Always being ready, living in a conscious state of mind. The foolish virgins represent our outer five senses that distract us in our daily living; sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. Then we have the 5 wise virgins who represent the inner senses of; love, compassion, intuition, wisdom, and peace of mind.
We quiet our outer senses, and call forth the true light within us and let it shine while we await – and in the silence the spirit renews us in mind, body and soul. The gifts are received and we celebrate each moment of every day in gratitude of its wonders.
Then we have the story of the disciples falling asleep while keeping watch. Just following the last supper with Christ Jesus, they went to the mount of Olives and then to a place called Gethsemane, where Jesus asked his disciples to watch while he prayed.
When Jesus returned he found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went again to pray, and he came and found them asleep again.
Jesus is telling us that it takes practice and discipline to train the mind to be alert. That we must be the master of our senses, of our conscious and subconscious mind, and be awake, fully awake and present for the greater realizations and union in God – awake in the presence of God. When we sing or chant inspirational songs, or meditate we can feel the living energy, the spirit of the presence of God.
The following is one of my favorite real life stories. Years ago when my son, Danny, was still in a booster chair, he asked me, “How can I talk to God.” I responded, “That its not so much talking to God, as it is listening to God.” He then asked how to listen, and I told him to close his eyes, and to sit quietly and wait. He immediately closed his eyes so very tight. A few moments later he burst out saying “God says he loves me.” When we listen with intention, with expectation, we receive Truth, and this Truth is always loving.
We shall now do a short exercise. Close your eyes and say to yourself: “I wonder what my next thought is going to be.” Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole? Try it now. “I wonder what my next thought is going to be.”