"As spider-like patience is essential to prayer, so prayer is essential to life. Prayer — true prayer — never lives in isolation. For those persons who understand its meaning, it is not the hobby of the holy or a luxury in life; it holds the pattern for all life. Just as we reweave each day the elements of life in our prayer, so we must do the same in every one of our personal relationships. We need to constantly reweave the fabric of our marriages, our work, our lives that are so easily broken by a word, a deed, a habit, or the loss of enthusiasm. We need patience with each other; with the old, the young, the sick, the slow, and with God! Psalm 36 speaks of this last need, the need to wait on God: 'Be still before the Lord and wait in patience.' We must learn how to sit still, to stop being in a hurry, and wait for God to move within our lives. We still ourselves in prayer, aware that the graces we need, the special gifts we desire, will come to us when we are ready. Whatever is necessary for our spiritual journeys will come when the time is ready. Until that time we simply sit in stillness, waiting, and even seeing pleasure, finding fun, in waiting!

"To have fun waiting, what a strange idea! Certainly it is not fun to wait for a long freight train to pass a crossing (especially on a hot summer day) or to have to wait an hour past our appointment time in some doctor's office. Having to wait on others, even to wait on God, is not fun. That's because we are in a hurry; to wait is to have our plans upset. But if God is life and the purpose of life is to find pleasure in God, then why can't there be fun in the action of waiting? Try it the next time you are called upon to wait for someone or something. Open up that gift of time and find the fun within.

"In marriage, art, work, sports, and prayer, we must learn how to suffer the time of growth. This doing of nothing: isn't that just plain old back porch procrastination? Can't patience be seen as only the intentional putting off until tomorrow that which should be done today? Procrastination is a love affair with tomorrow, which is that golden day when we will change, pray more, read, fix the back door, play with the children, or take our wife out to dinner. Procrastination is not a virtue; it is a form of being asleep. Patience is vigilant waiting, a waiting that is full, pregnant with dreams, hopes, ideas, and with peace. Such a waiting is not resignation, as when we resign ourselves to the fates. Patience is loving and dynamic surrender. In Islam, this type of patient surrender is expressed in the term Inshallah which means 'God willing.'

"Such a surrender is possible when we have the awareness that our life is part of a cosmic interlocking system which is itself composed of complex countless other systems. Such patient waiting can be a consciousness that we are not in control; we are not a king or god. Patience is a sign that our needs (at this very moment) must be balanced with the needs and lives of others. Waiting for anyone or anything is a prayer of communion with the rest of the cosmos. As such, it is always a prayer of humility and truth. The truth is we are but a part of a much greater whole and not the sum total of all."