Hurry up and wait. Last night, as Dave taught my girlfriend how to bake bread, I thought this. I am NOT a bread person so his bread-making expertise is totally lost on me. It begins with the yeast, bubbling; the aroma permeating our kitchen. I never knew yeast was actually what gave bread its smell. I watched as they sifted flour and added simple ingredients; wheat flour, honey, gluten, bread conditioner, filtered water. It became a sticky mess as they slammed bread dough against our kitchen table and worked the dough with their hands. Flour flew everywhere!
In between slamming and kneading came the wait. My girlfriend’s daughter was constantly amazed that the dough grew in size as we checked it, every ten minutes, for an entire hour, and folded the dough over itself as the bread rose. Then they prepared the pan and formed the dough into buns (pic above). After that, the dough had to bake. Three hours later came the fruit of their labor; risen wheat buns. Between all the steps of the bread making process we shared stories, snacked and laughed.
As Charlie changed the numbers on our Charlie Brown ornament, waiting for Christmas, the parallel struck me. Life is “the wait.” We are constantly thinking to ourselves, “If I just had more money” or, “When my kids get older, then…” or, “If I lost a few pounds I’d feel so much better…” Just as in life’s milestones, it’s the time in-between the big events that defines who and what we are. Some days I can be a mess like the bread dough being slammed into the table; others I am freshly baked and warm like the risen buns. I see so many of my friends stuck. Some are still trying to reach the pinnacle of their careers and have no patience to wait. Life is passing them by. Others push their kids to define how great of a parent they really are. If you swim faster and get a scholarship OR if you get straight A’s and are two grade levels above in math, yada, yada, yada.
I wanna opt out. I need to learn to live in the wait.