As a minister, much of my life is spent waiting. Whether it is hospital waiting rooms, driving across town or waiting for someone who is running late. What we do in waiting rooms and stop lights is important because most of life consists in such interludes. One of the reasons we like movies and plays is because the plot line is so clear. In our own lives we’re born on stage in the middle of a script which we can never quite find. When they finally carry us off the stage we don’t know it, so for all intents and purposes our lives consist of transitions.
Cooks cannot prepare every ingredient at the same time, but must move one part of the meal to the backburner to give it more taste. Moments that do not seem useful in any other way are the foundries of the soul. In a sense, life is the chef and we ourselves are what is being cooked. The great virtues of courage and patience are not usually learned in comfortable settings. We learn courage at frightening times and patience at frustrating times. If instead of fretting at every stop light and flat tire, we learn the lesson of such moments we become better agents of change in the world. At such moments, we are not wasting our lives, we are spending time on the backburner from which all life’s taste comes.