Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Would Like To Say That I Am Good At It ...

 .. but hell, I'm not.  Just being honest here, I suck at "waiting."
If you've ever had to wait, you know what I mean.  Waiting ain't easy, damn, it's hard!

There are a thousand different reasons why we all have to wait.  Some of us wait for seasons.  Some of us wait for things that are pegged on schedules. Whilst some of us probably wait for significant occasions and events. A few may be waiting for answers, solutions, the "right" one, decisions and one of the toughest would likely be, waiting for "what's next?"

Life has its endings and beginnings. But that's the easy part. The trying stage is everything that happens in between endings and beginnings. Arguably you would say, it's not "why" we have to wait that matters, it is "how" we choose to wait. Yeah right, like I said, I suck at it. My rational mind tells me there is a reason for every 'pause' in a man's life but not knowing what is next can be both frustrating and discouraging. 

Perhaps there are some of you that find meaning in the wait; the romanticized wrestling with hope and uncertainty; the element of wonder in your heart that keeps it beating in the anticipation of what happens next; the enigma of trying to grasp at something beyond your reach ... bullocks! I wish I could feel the same sentiments. The waiting without knowing test is something I have consistently failed at. I keep asking myself why I keep getting an opportunity for a re-test! Isn't it always easier for the impatient like I am to say, "Let's get this show on the road and get it done and over with!" Somehow, I have more comfort in languishing with questions like, "why am I still here?; why don't I have it?; why is it taking so long?'; why hasn't this changed?; why isn't this fixed, yet?"

But then again, there are far more challenging and tough reasons for "waiting" and I think about families and loved ones who have been told, possibly the most dreadful set of words in the English language: "We have done everything humanly possible and now all we need to do is WAIT." I just know how that stabs the spirit. When I heard that from the cardio-thoracic surgeon of my Dad, my soul wailed. I reckon our souls know about endings than beginnings.

Look I know. I am not the only human in the "wait" because we all are, for different reasons in varying circumstances. I also know it is never about why we have to wait but rather at how we wing it whist we wait. And it is during these times when my rational mind has run out of meaningful arguments with myself that I throw my hands up in the air and rely on my life's dictum: FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT WE HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE. 

You see it is not about why we have to wait but it is about believing that what will be, will be. Albeit I am still completely a douche in the waiting game, I "keep my FORK" and I wait.

And now a Story that needs to be shared: 

Keep your fork!

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.

"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. 

The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'.

It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'. Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork....the best is yet to come".

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better as coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. 

During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you that the best is yet to come… keep your fork!


  1. That was a fantastic post, and a touching anecdote to finish it off. Keep the faith, PB.

  2. Wow, I'm not even remotely religious but that story gave me goosebumps!

    Very powerful and extremely moving.
    Thanks for sharing that PB.

  3. I guess I wonder when people are just waiting and nothing more can be done, it must be a mixed emotion. Part of you feeling like you are living in limbo, hating if the person you love is in pain, yet wanting to cling to them. I cannot imagine how it must feel to at once want it done, yet wanting time to stand still.

  4. That was such an encouraging, sweet story! Thanks for posting it!


  5. i've actually learned that i have more patience than i thought. i still don't like to wait ...

  6. Thanks Flip. I am deeply honoured by your comment.
    Dear Lily, and neither am I. But when I heard of that story, I never forgot. I keep telling my friends in need of a boost, "Keep your Fork", then they all give me a "duhh" look I find myself narrating it all over again.
    Jamie sweetie, it feels like you are in Twilight Zone. Time moves. But you feel you're in a vacuum.
    Thanks Steph. I hope you share it when you get the chance.
    Andrea, you probably have raised the bar so high in patience I would flunk on Day One! =)

  7. Thank you so much, this is a brilliant and inspiring post, and specially for me who has no patience at all. I could recognise myself in your words, waiting is a great effort and it seems I don'l learn much from one experience to the other, but at the end I will remember to "Keep the fork", thanks to you.
    Have a lovely day!!

  8. Aww, thanks Marie. You're always very kind with your compliments.
    I am glad it made your day, Kevin. Well I am re-reading it now and it kinda lifted my spirits too. :)

    Just keep your fork!

  9. ---I love love love your posts.

    Always profound & thought provoking.

    I am NEVER disappointed.


  10. Hell, I tried leaving a comment her like 5 times on Saturday via my un-smart, smartphone but it kept kicking me off! Grrrr....

    But anyhow, I just want to say that I couldn't have read a better article as of recent. I hate waiting too...I'm not a patient person.


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