The Discipline of the Wait

Follow a recipe for baking bread, and you will see that in step 5 you must wait for your bread to rise. For only a few moments, but you must wait or you will risk the ruin of the bread. Alas, this is but the first of two rises. In step 7, you must wait ten times longer for the second rise.

Oh, but you hate to wait! You have places to go and things to do. Your time is precious to you. But, you want fresh-baked bread, so you wait for the rise before you complete the 8th and final step: Bake the bread. You must wait for 30-40 minutes during the bake. Agony! Maybe it doesn't really have to bake that long? You can smell the mouth-watering fragrance of the bread as it bakes in your oven. In your mind, you dribble melted butter onto your golden brown culinary creation, then plow your mouth into it with ravenous toothy abandon. Yum! No, wait... Yuck! Your bread tastes like dough, and it looks like a deflated football.

You did not wait long enough during the second rise. The baking killed off the yeast before the bread fluffed up. The taste that you wanted had no chance to catch up with the fragrance that wafted from your oven. In almost every recipe that involves combining fresh ingredients, and the ones that require cooking, exacting measures, purity, and the patience of waiting during certain steps are necessary if you do not want to incur unbounded risk of failure in the final palatable product.

Did you know that beyond food preparation, the value of waiting applies to most subjects? You wait in a line of traffic because something happened down the road that must be fixed; the road is not safe now. You wait for days while a loan officer reviews your home loan application. The officer may determine that you do not qualify for the loan (you cannot make such a high monthly payment). If the officer had not taken the time to apply the proper checks and balances, you may have bought a house with costs beyond your means. In the military, a soldier learns to accept long waits during movement as time to rest, to socialize with other soldiers, and to call home. On the battlefield, a plan coupled with ways and means will execute better if the soldiers wait for the enemy to forget that they are there (they no longer expect an attack).

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