In a world of quick fixes and convenience, patience is an old fashioned idea. Why wait?
"Hello? Hello?" I heard spilling from the phone as I untangled myself from the plastic lawn chair and crawled across the floor to retrieve the receiver. My face hot and flushing, I put the telephone up to my ear and said, "Hey," in my best imitation of nonchalance.
"Is everything alright there?"
"Yeah, yeah, it's fine," I lied as my elbow throbbed and my back burned.
A few days later I confessed to Daniel that I had been rocking gently in my chair while talking to him on the telephone when suddenly I found myself tumbling over backwards. My left arm smacked the dining room table and my right arm flailed in a futile attempt at maintaining balance, sending the telephone sailing. Stunned, I lay on the floor and gathered my faculties as his muffled queries drifted into my consciousness.
My nonchalant response was an attempt on my part to convince Daniel I wasn't someone prone to strange and frequent catastrophes, but then I realized that hiding the truth only prolonged inevitable discovery, so I introduced Daniel to my life of calamity. It's tempting to create a flawless façade when striving to capture the attention and affection of the opposite sex. Problems arise, however, when our veneer loses its shiny luster and the dull truth surfaces with a resounding pop into an idyllic dream world.
A common mistake of many couples is to become too close, too fast, because it's easier. Barbie and Ken meet and fall in love, only to discover later that the fabulous blister card descriptions left out a few important details, and I would have followed suit had I not fallen for a man with more wisdom than the average, run of the mill Ken doll.
I had my eye on Daniel since the first night I saw him. While playing sand volleyball with a group of friends, two guys exited the gym and entered the sand court. My breath caught in my throat when I saw the second guy, and sometime during the game, when Daniel's striking blue eyes met mine, I almost hyperventilated.
Lest I come across as a shallow lemming, trailing after a guy I didn't even know while breathing into a paper bag, let it be known that I conducted informal background checks with individuals who knew Daniel and I watched him interact with others before giving him my quality seal of approval. He didn't get a free ticket.
Still, I found myself ready to take that next step — that plunge into the realm of dating — before Daniel was. Two different times he asked if he could talk with me, sending me reeling into euphoric daydreams of romantic speeches about undeclared love, and both times he put on the brakes, sending us back to the "just friends" level.
During this time of frustrating delay, our friendship grew, but most importantly, I drew close to Christ. I needed His strength for patience and contentment and His wisdom to keep from employing manipulation tactics. Through my struggle, I learned to take my problems to God first and I learned that He alone fulfills my needs and desires. I never would have chosen to wait, because it would have been easier and more instantly gratifying to become a couple, but at what cost?
I finally arrived at a point where I realized that despite the turmoil I experienced, I had gained far more by not being with Daniel because it forced me to seek Christ. And shortly after that epiphany, Daniel talked to me for the third time, to tell me he wanted to date me. Now, as we excitedly plan our wedding, I thank God for giving Daniel the wisdom to wait and the graciousness to want to marry a girl who falls out of her chair while talking on the phone.
Copyright 2002 Dana Norton. All rights reserved.