We are quite naturally impatient in everything
To reach the end without delay.We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
To something unknown,
Something new.

Every part of my body vibrates with impatience. I do not want to wait until tomorrow. I do not want to “delay” for a week, a month, certainly not for a year. I want the answer now. 

I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of “Being on the way.” I do not like being confronted with “something unknown.”  Having left one shore and heading into the “evening” mist toward the “other side” feels awkward, uncomfortable and frightening. I want to reach “the end without delay.” 

But, of course, I know that in this earthly time-bound material realm every “end” only heralds a new beginning. There is always a new sea to cross; a fresh storm is brewing somewhere; there is no final resolution as long as I sail in this frail vessel of physical existence. 

It took a lot to get me to retire. I stayed perhaps longer than I should. I worry that my reluctance to step out of the little Rector ship in which I have sailed for so long, is partly due to my preference for the solid, familiar floor boards under my feet. It is not that there have been no unexpected storms along the way; but I know the furniture in this boat. I have known where to turn for help, who to seek to trim the sails and how to bail when bailing became essential. 

The etymology of the word “patience” connects it to the idea of suffering. To be patient is to bear the suffering, the fragility, of this moment, perhaps for “a very long time.” 

Moving into retirement for me feels painful. I will lose connection, at least for a time, with people I have cherished. We have shared many life transitions. We have worshiped, prayed, sometimes struggled together. It will be hard to say “Goodbye” to these lovely saints. 

I cannot resolve the suffering of separation; it can only be carried for the time it persists. I trust that, when the pain is held for the time it lasts, “something new” will emerge as we move through “the intermediate stages” between what was and what will become. 

 Lord give me patience with the unresolved bits and pieces of life that are always a part of transitional times.