Waiting.

(First published August 17, 2015 after Hope and Dan’s wedding. Still good to remember.)

“Help. Stuck in the elevator”

That was the text I finally got on Saturday afternoon after I missed a couple phone calls and someone found me.

We were at the church, some of us, after Hope’s wedding. Family and close friends were at the after party at a park down the road. I was talking to people working in the kitchen. Nancy, after a whole weekend of walking and working, decided to take the elevator up to get her purse.

And a breaker tripped as soon as she pushed the button.

It took about 30 minutes before the doors opened, with a variety of conversations and electrical tests and phone calls. Some of the calls were from Nancy, letting the party know to go ahead, talking to me about progress.

11889976_10204995768796171_4892883383494217580_oIn the meantime, she took her shoes off and sat down. She thought about other people getting to the party. She thought about the people who could have been on the elevator and weren’t.

I think that Nancy was, in that moment, demonstrating contentedness.

Paul wrote,  “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” 

We forget that being content is learned. We have to practice not being disrupted, not reacting, not complaining, not expecting perfection, not looking at our own comfort. We have to practice looking outside ourselves for peace and perspective.

It was only a short delay. But we know people who would have panicked, who would have demanded immediate action, who would have lived in a ruined day.

But this mother of the bride took a break. And got on her feet when the doors opened and headed to the party.