The joy of waiting
NEW BEGINNINGS (The Philippine Star) - April 27, 2014 - 12:00am

All beautiful things take time.

A sunrise is enjoyed after a long, dark night. Diamonds endure pressure to shine. Before pearls bask in their iridescence, the oysters that carry them have to take irritants under the sea to form them. Even the formation of rainclouds takes time. Flowers bloom from buds that have weathered the elements around them. And from many flowers come fruits that we all enjoy. But even fruits wait for the right time to give the right nourishment.

And it takes nine long months before a woman can cradle the fruit of her womb.

Nature shows us that there is joy and beauty in waiting. Many individuals, however, do not see it the same way. But we need to learn it to keep us grounded, alive, kicking; to make us matter all the more.

Many people are always in a hurry. We like things to happen in a snap, in a jiffy, in an instant. But it is also an undeniable reality that we cannot get what we want right away. And if there are people who are used to getting what they desire in a wink of an eye, those people are in a precarious situation because life will one day present to them a problem that has no solution, a problem that can only be managed by people who know how to wait a while. It may be true that life has many problems. But life is not a problem.

Even the grace of God is not given in one murmur of prayer. God also thinks of whether or not your pleas should be answered. So, we learn to wait and trust that God will give us His “yesses” and if He decides to give a Big No to our prayers, that means He is brewing a much better answer to what we are praying for. The secret lies in our capacity to wait.

Man’s physical growth from puberty to adulthood is a great illustration of joyful waiting. And to bring it closer to the fore, the act of waiting is demonstrated lovingly at home. Parents send their children to Kindergarten. Before they know it, their children have earned their college degrees. In between their children’s Kindergarten and college schooling, a process of waiting is seen. It is a process that proves that joy is not an instant gratification.

My friends Val and Ping Sotto have been feeling like they are in heaven lately because their 19-year-old daughter, Patricia, graduated last Friday from UP-Diliman’s School of Economics as summa cum laude. And the story does not end there. Patricia, who took up Business Economics, was also the class valedictorian with an average of 1.146. “After four years, Tito Büm, I’m graduating summa cum laude and valedictorian of our class! Thank you,” she ecstatically told me on the phone. In her voice I felt her joy. I also felt that she waited joyfully for four years to graduate with the highest distinction.

Her scholastic success was not given to her on a silver platter. She labored hard enough to earn her spot. She waited. She shone! And, oh, how bright did she shine! (More on Patricia Sotto’s story in my next column.)

I am no expert in calculating man’s given intelligence but I am a firm believer that he who knows the art of waiting scores high in his EQ test. He who waits patiently with calmness in his heart becomes less anxious, less agitated, less worried. He learns to enjoy the process and not injure it. There’s joy in waiting because it becomes a form of meditation, a kind of exultation.

My cousin Carmencita, her husband Dredd and their firstborn Carlo went to take a dip in the sea last Black Saturday at 11 a.m. Dredd decided to gather some shells and allowed his wife and son to go home to prepare lunch. When Dredd did not show up for lunch and was not still at home by 2 p.m., Carmencita went back to the spot where she last saw her husband. There was no trace of him. She waited, with her young son in tow. The balmy breeze did not help in her waiting but she just stood there, and waited still. By nighttime, she was still waiting for her husband to surface from the waters. Many from the community, with some bearing heavy-duty flashlights, helped her find her husband. But there was no trace of Dredd except for a plastic bag filled with tulya, perhaps Dredd’s haul for that day, which was unearthed from a shallow part of the sea. Night turned into day. Carmencita’s waiting yielded to a dead Dredd on early morning of Easter Sunday.

She cried so hard the neighborhood heard her lamentations. She’s beginning to wait for the day that she “will be OK.” She knows it will come because she will wait for her total acceptance of losing her husband with the thought that God is with her in every step of the way. “There’s nothing that the Lord will not help me with,” she said. Now, she still cries. But there’s peace in her heart knowing that Dredd is comforted by God in His paradise. One day, for sure, she will move on and move up, the process of which is found in waiting.

Waiting gives us the time to process our hurts and pains. It teaches us to manage our expectations. Waiting is a time to pray, to surrender to the Lord. It teaches us that, indeed, there’s virtue in patience.

Yes, there’s peace and joy in waiting.


(For your new beginnings, please e-mail me at I’m also on Twitter @bum_tenorio and Instagram @bumtenorio. Have a blessed Sunday.)


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