The power of Waiting

Society & Culture | By Hope Masike, Musician | 21 November 2014
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

Recently, I somehow bumped into a lot of material on waiting, music, movies and literature. Ironically, I was at a point in my life where this particular gospel was most needed, perhaps it came a little bit too late but still, it added much needed value to my life now. We live in a world that’s moving so fast, at times it’s hard to catch up. Many times we feel we are lagging behind. I am speaking as a young Afrikan woman, career-oriented, traditionally brought up and caught up in-between my culture and the emergence of other foreign cultures into mine. I have had the extraordinary privilege to be able to travel a little in the past two years and that introduced to me some cultures I had never imagined. You see, travelling changes you. Inevitably so, it does!

Before I started travelling a lot, I was very good at waiting. The only problem then was that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I waited because it was the expected manner, expected of a young woman in my culture and also from a religious perspective. I didn’t wait because I understood the importance of waiting and I valued the art of waiting from within. So when I travelled, got away from the comfort of family around me, got away from the watchful, preying eyes of my society, got away from the environment that had carved me into the woman I was; there was a threat towards certain values of mine that were not too strong in me. I came back home changed.

I did not notice this and it took a long while to realize that I had changed. It took me yet another long time to realize that I did not like what I had changed into, that this new person was not the one I wanted to be. Of course, it took me long also to figure out how I was to ‘come back to the middle’. I managed any ways, eventually. I am back to the waiting mode, but this time voluntarily, intentionally and strongly so. So I will share a couple of things that have to do with the powerful art of waiting. You have heard, I know, that patience is a virtue. You also have heard, I am sure, that good things come to those who wait. In my language - Shona, we have a saying, Kumhanya handiko kusvika. Literally, ‘running doesn’t equate to getting there’. How true all these three have turned out to be in my life.

I have learnt that in life there are things we have to work for, there are things we will get any ways, and there are also things we just have to wait for. Some of what I have mentioned differs from one person to the other. Some have to work for financial independence whereas some are born with huge inheritances of money; some people find love very easily and very early in their lives, some people find love after kissing a million frogs. We are different. Our lives are different. Our gifts are different. However, we all have some waiting to do at some point in our life. Christians are taught that the Bible says, ‘Those that wait upon the Lord shall be given renewed strength. They shall fly on mounted wings. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.’ 

The process of waiting, teaches many important life skills. As you wait your resolve is strengthened and sharpened. Waiting helps you value the thing you are waiting for; when you finally have it, you will appreciate it more and will not take it for granted. Waiting time is a good time to reflect, reload, refresh and be more in touch with self. Once a waiting period is over, you are filled with a sense of achievement and accomplishment and this enlarges your self-esteem. Waiting upon the Lord is an honour, because we know afterwards we are given renewed strength. An opportunity to wait is a blessing, a chance to get more strength, renewed even. Imagine reaching a point where you don’t mind waiting. You are not rushed by anything but your purpose, in good time. You will not be hasty. You will be composed and collected, regardless of whatever pressures, family, societal or otherwise. There is a special type of power hidden in waiting upon the Lord, or waiting for anything else you must wait for. Tap into it and grow!