Friday, March 29, 2013

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

March 29, 2013

Today I am 194.0 pounds of rolling thunder, trying to find grace in my life.

Songster Tom Petty told us years ago that the waiting is the hardest part.

About mid-afternoon yesterday, I got tired of waiting for the mail carrier, so I decided to go out for my daily run. We’ve been waiting about a month for some news about colleges, and April 1 was supposed to be a D-Day of sorts for the announcement.

It was one of the first mild weather days we've had in about two weeks. That early spring snowfall had coated the streets and sidewalks, making running tricky and treacherous, so it became more a labor of love than a fruitful jog.

April 1 was D-Day, but we had it on good authority that the news would come earlier (thanks, Twitter), every day this week I've played a game of hide-and-go-seek with the mailman. To this point, the waiting game has been the hardest part, and March the cruelest month.

 "Every day you see one more card," Tom says in his song. And every day, we waited by the mailbox for a decision that would change all our lives.

The next line in the song goes, "you take it on faith, you take it from the heart," and while everyone remembers "the waiting is the hardest part," perhaps that line about faith says more about how we live our lives than any other.

For countless generations we've all taken our existence and fate on faith. Every day you get to see one more card -- sometimes a couple, if you're lucky. But every day, you put your faith and hope into a belief that things will work out OK. That your kids will grow up safely. That you will grow old gracefully. That you will be surrounded by a world of grace.

I ran six miles for the first time since last fall. It was a mixture of walking and running, but it was a distance I needed to cover, even if it required a mix of walking and jogging. My hope was that I would turn the corner, heading to home and see a large envelope hanging from our mailbox.

I knew from my research that big envelope meant in and small was ... small. The run helped me get my mind off the wait -- at least for a bit. No matter how creaky your body feels, it's always good to get out and move your body.

While I wasn't going to win any speed races, at least I was moving. And so were countless others on a Thursday afternoon.

 As I dropped down the final hill, heading toward home, I my mind drifted back to the decision at hand. I looked around to see if any of the houses on my route had mail sticking out of their boxes.

I turned the corner for home. I spotted my mailbox off in the distance. You take it on faith. You take it from the heart.

The waiting is the hardest part.

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