The Now and the Not Yet
February 23, 2013 1 Comment
One of the great mysteries in this drama called life is the tension between the Now and the Not Yet.
There are times when we need to act now, and delay means a loss of opportunity. It may even display cowardice. Yet there are other aspects of our life that are on long simmer – we’re made for this, but…not yet.
It’s tricky, on a given day, month, year, or decade, to know what is now, and what is not yet. When do we seize the day, and when do we need more seasoning in our own character and experience?
As parents, we yearn for our kids to get their act together and be gold-medal human beings by the time they reach 20. But people – especially young people – don’t often seem to follow our script. The long haul of the not yet is the constant (sometimes painful) companion of everyone who joins the adventure of shaping a new generation.
Several things are coalescing in my life right now that lead me to believe that it’s time. For instance, I’ve known since my late teens that I was destined to write books. Yet only now, in my 50’s, do I feel like I’ve developed the message and the “voice” and the direction and the platform to start long-form writing. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking and writing and learning all along – I have – but there was a not-yet doorstop in my soul for decades as I slowly developed.
Some, however, end up successfully launching businesses or books or speaking careers or multimedia fame in their 20’s. The now came early. How can you program (or predict) all that?
You can’t. But sometimes we can help other people decide between the now and the not yet by providing an objective voice. Don’t underestimate the importance of a pointed encouragement forward, or a cautious word of wisdom to wait.
I’ve got no answers – just that we have to be ready for now each day, and be patient about the not yet even when it seems to make no sense to wait.
How do you live with this tension?