It's a part of life as surely as breathing, eating, drinking and sleeping.
Sometimes it seems we spend half our days waiting for something expected to occur.
We wait for the phone to ring with some news, good or bad.
We wait for the mail truck to arrive.
We wait for the cleaning to be ready.
We wait for the bill to come so that it can be paid with the check that's on its way.
We wait for the right time to propose or to be proposed to.
We wait for the kids to grow up.
We wait for the price of a flat screen television to drop low enough that we can buy it.
We wait for the right time to plant the summer garden.
We wait for the right time to have a baby, but is there a right time?
We wait for the EMT's to arrive, and every second seems a lifetime.
We wait for the light to change. We wait for the kettle to whistle.
Waiting would seem in this light to be a nonproductive use of time per se, but usually we are multi-tasking and doing something else at the same time while waiting goes on and on and on.
Sometimes, patient waiting gives way to a "just do it" philosophy, as coined by Nike.
And sometimes, throwing caution to the wind, we decide to "just do it - even if it's wrong," so says a common refrain that probably was a country music lyric.
These days, a growing number of us have a sense that we're waiting for something to occur that's karmic, cosmic or on the order of a great spiritual awakening.
Something far beyond our ability to conceive or perceive is at work here.
To say that we are waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop falls far short of capturing the moment.
Every generation since time immemorial has faced its own trials, traumas and never imagined challenges, but it is hard for me with my limited capacities to imagine that there ever was a time beset with the disasters, catastrophes, natural and man-made, and unknowns such as exist today.
I can hardly wrap my mind around all that's going on.
What we see from day to day is that just when we think "it" can't get any worse, it does and will.
Anyone who thinks he or she can predict what's next is fooling some of the people at least some of the time.
We human beings are wired with a tendency to grab hold of something that seems to make sense, until it doesn't make sense any more. And then we go looking for another answer that purports to explain our lives or current times.
For me, I think it's getting to be the time when none of our old answers work any more.
Rules, systems, world order, projected outcomes and certainly many governmental programs and policies on which we've relied for generations seem to be falling away or becoming ineffective, inefficient or unsteady as a source for security.
The response by some might be to head to the hills to escape the travails of these modern times, but the question comes: is there a fault-line under those hills or a river nearby that might overflow its banks and sweep us away?
There is, in reality, no place to run or to hide, and we're certainly not quite ready to try life on a far-away planet.
This is it.
Others could decide that such uncertainty in our times makes it the perfect time to do something we've been waiting for the right time to do.
Maybe it's time to get out the good silver and put it to use.
Maybe it's time to take the trip you've promised yourselves ever since your 30th wedding anniversary.
The possibilities are endless once you decide that this is, in fact, the perfect time.
Others might decide that simply waiting for what comes next while trying to maintain control in a world seemingly out of control is pointless.
What might follow logically is spiritual surrender into the hands of that which or whom we worship or believe to be the creative power in the universe, the spirit, the father, the mother, the oneness, the all-knowing entity that undergirds our lives here and hereafter.
Name it what you will, that entity in any faith represents all that we know about love, truth, faith, forgiveness and caring. It is those things that will never fall away or be destroyed by tsunami, earthquake, flood, fire, or nuclear or financial meltdown.