Up and Wait:
Letting go of our need for fast solutions
Earle Donelson, Ph.D.
Samaritan Counseling Center
you seen that commercial? The one with the guy who is in
such a great hurry that nothing’s fast enough
for him? “One Hour Photo—Too Slow!” “10-minute
Oil change—Too Slow!” “Fast Food—Too
Slow!” Although humorous, it’s also a sign of
today’s world, everything seems speeded
up, as if an old 33 has been turned up to 78 rpm. Hectic
schedules and fast-paced lives, the need for instant contact
and replies, high speed Internet, cell phones, text messaging,
faxes, they are all part of our gotta-have-it-now world.
And with all that rushing comes the demand for solutions—Now!
ASAP! Instantly! As in yesterday.
some of life’s most important decisions cannot
and should not be made hastily, impulsively or under
the gun. They are simply too important for snap judgments.
proverbs, sayings and one-liners attest to the necessity
of taking one’s time in important situations: Fools
rush in… Look before you leap… Patience
is a virtue.
issues simply require time to think,
study, look at from various angles, gather input. They
require patience. So how do we resist the urge or demand
our solutions? How can we slow down and wait patiently
for the best response or resolution to develop?
of us has our own processes for making decisions and
seeking solutions. Being aware of our own methods,
and strengths and weaknesses is important. Sometimes
it helps if I can slow the process down—be
more patient and
as I seek the most appropriate solution. I deliberately
take time to think about, ponder and discern the
may look within or seek input from friends or family. I
may go for a walk, sit by the lake
do laps at the pool. Sometimes I consider the problem
while I work on the house, rake leaves, paint,
clean or iron (yes,
iron). Other times, I sit down, with or
without music, and define the issue, problem or
question. I make
a list of the
pros and cons, the variables, and the end result.
Some would call this multitasking. But really, for
about slowing down and being patient, giving myself
time to consider
the question and search for the best solution,
curbing the need to hurry an important decision and letting
it come to
also slow things down by using the process of prayer, discernment
an empty sanctuary and
pray, think and simply let things soak in, taking
time to talk to God and Christ. By so doing I
a very personal source of support, comfort and
it takes time to hear, see and accept what is
offered back. Considering possible solutions,
I ask myself
- “How would this fit with
my faith and values?”
does this fit with what God or Christ would have
will it affect my life (my family, my friends,
will I feel about this tomorrow (next week, next
happens if I am wrong?”
- “Am I hurrying
today’s world, the pressure is strong for immediacy.
We may not
always have the luxury of time, but by being deliberate,
and open to the decision-making process, we can resist
the temptation to hurry or rush our more important
As it says in Ecclesiastes: “To
there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the