A Saturday Caesura
I made waffles the other day. Just saying that makes it sound like a big deal, but the real achievement was in cleaning the cupboard where I discovered the partially used package of buttermilk pancake mix (expiry date: distant past). What made me pause and ponder wasn’t the waffles or even the viability of the pancake mix, but the word waffle itself.
The Dutch origins of waffle are connected to wafer and in certain contexts can refer to a honeycomb-like weave. But from its English roots, to waffle is to be undecided or unsure.
I’ve done my fair share of waffling lately.
Over the years, I’ve also encountered a few Waffle Makers. You’ve no doubt seen them, too. They come with a few standard features: a raised eyebrow and some questions — “Really?” and “Wouldn’t it be better if…?” or “Are you sure?” Suddenly your sure conviction begins to wobble, teeter…and you are all in a waffle.
Sometimes we need Waffle Makers who will step in and stop us in the midst of a decision and make us waffle and wrestle before we move forward. These Waffle Makers genuinely desire to create in us deep wells, full and overflowing with wisdom and discernment.
But there is another kind of Waffle Maker whose questions and raised eyebrows come from judgment, jealousy, or even malice, and what they leave behind are recesses where discouragement and insecurity can pool and stagnate.
And sometimes we get ourselves stuck in waffle-mode and we need to hear the same words Elijah spoke to Israel and 850 wayward prophets: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him.” *
That was rather unambiguous and very unwaffle-like.
*1 Kings 18:22