Chastity has a broader meaning than being celibate in singleness and our commitment to a spouse in marriage. To be chaste means we have the ability to wait with patience for the fruition of an experience.
Waiting for what we hope for; true love, better health, or a healed relationship, creates a certain level of tension, stress and anticipation. When we tell ourselves that we just can’t wait, we become impatient. But when we recognize the virtue that accompanies the discipline of waiting, we are rewarded.
Learning from Nature
Nature teaches me the necessity of chastity. Nature reminds me that everything comes to fullness in its own time and not mine.
Presently, my cherry trees are dormant. By all appearances, they appear to be dead. There are no leaves on their branches, no beautiful white buds and no red fruit. Yet I know that this period of dormancy is necessary. Without this fallow time, the fruit cannot be produced. As much as I want to bite into the warm juiciness of a cherry picked from one of my trees, I cannot rush the production of one simple cherry. But, there is still the promise, and the sense of anticipation in waiting for the goodness from those trees.
The other day I looked out my kitchen window at the empty osprey nest down the block at the top of a tall pole. It is deserted, and absent from any life. I miss hearing the sounds and watching the activity of my favorite birds. But, I am calculating the days before they return.
It is their habit to migrate in September and return in April. And until then, I will not hear their mating sound, observe their battles in flight against eagles, or watch them eat their catch of fish. But, April will arrive and so will the osprey. Until then, I wait and hope for what is yet to come.
Most summers, my husband and I usually take a few hikes. They can be long, arduous and tax our stamina. You might wonder why we put ourselves through such labor. We do so because of the view we get when we reach the top. Although we love trekking along scenic pathways, and enjoy the sights and sounds along the trail, it is not until we reach the pinnacle that we take in the panoramic view. Until then, we trudge along predicting the beauty that awaits us at the end of the trail.
Why bother practicing chastity? Most of the time we fail at chastity because we don’t see the virtue of restraint. Though we cannot rush fruition, we can expect its coming.