Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When politicians are waiting for the results in a Primary election, your son is waiting for admission to Harvard, an entrepreneur is waiting the bank’s approval for a financial loan, everyone frets about the outcome over sleepless night.

We have a proverb, “人事を尽くして天命を待つ—Do your best, and wait for God’s will (decision)” for such an occasion. We also say “果報は寝て待て— “Go to bed early (have a good sleep) and wait for the good news” to the same effect.

I’m curious to know if there are similar English sayings to “Go to bed early and wait for the good news,” meaning “It’s no use to worry about after everything is done. Just leave it to the hands of God.”

P.S.

I happened to find the phrase which I think, is pretty close to “Go to bed early, and wait for good news” in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks in the recent Diane Sawyer’s interview quoted in Maureen Dawd’s article, “When Will Hillary Let It Go?” in today's (June 14) New York Times. It reads:

She continued: “I am over it, over it. I think I have changed; not worried so much about what other people are thinking.” She vowed to now “say what I know, what I believe, and let the chips fall (where they may).”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-when-will-hillary-let-it-go.html?hp&rref=opinion

share|improve this question
11  
You need the typical Japanese calmness and patience to be able to sleep while waiting for big news :)). –  Josh61 Jun 13 at 11:50
2  
go to sleep or santa claus won't come. –  jlovegren Jun 14 at 0:57
1  
You should say either wait for* or await. You should not say wait the good news or waiting the bank's approval. –  Drew Jun 14 at 4:47
    
@Drew. I was under impression that 'wait" can be used as a transitive verb as well as an intransitive verb, and can take an object without 'for.' It seems I was wrong. Thanks for your advice. I corrected accordingly. –  Yoichi Oishi Jun 14 at 5:59

11 Answers 11

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I'd say something similar would be:

A watched pot never boils

Waiting for something to happen makes it seem like it is happening slower, whereas if you go away and do something else then time will seem to pass faster.

share|improve this answer
    
Similar: I can't look back because my bags are packed. –  Wolfpack'08 Jun 14 at 10:35
1  
This is wrong. It really has no connection to the "leave it be" sentiment. –  Joe Blow Jun 15 at 8:59
    
The leaving it be is implied, admittedly –  Ilythya Jun 16 at 8:17

It's in God's hands now is something that English speaking people of faith often say in similar situations. I don't know if it counts as an idiom, however. It's more of an actual statement of faith, and as such wouldn't typically be used by people who weren't believers.

(As a comparison, there are also common English expressions like God only knows that are used simply as idioms, without implying any personal religious belief.)

share|improve this answer
3  
"It's out of my/your/our hands now" is a secular variant –  Max Jun 14 at 22:00
    
I completely disagree that this is "only for religious people." Totally non-religious people often blaspheme, use idiom containing "God" and so on. Setting that aside, this is a great suggestion. –  Joe Blow Jun 15 at 9:00
    
@JoeBlow As I mentioned in my answer, there are plenty of idioms referencing God that are used freely without implication of religious belief, but, in my experience, this isn't one of them --at least not in the US. –  Chris Sunami Jun 16 at 13:06

There's no use worrying about it.

This is a common expression, although more literal and not really a "saying". Note that often it is shortened by omitting the "There's".

share|improve this answer

Those who are fatalists or polytheists might well say

Leave it in the lap of the g/Gods.

share|improve this answer

I can think of these - but they handle only half your proverb

Everything/Good things comes to him who waits

Patience is a virtue

share|improve this answer

Growing up on a farm in my early life I heard trees that grow slow bear the best fruit. Which means chill out and think good thoughts and you will be rewarded.

share|improve this answer

Close to your meaning but not an exact match is the proverb:

A watched pot never boils.

Which means in this context that watching out for news won't make it arrive any sooner.

share|improve this answer

I would suggest "what's done, is done".

How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.
Macbeth Act 3, scene 2, 8–12

While this may have a backward-looking sense similar to "no use crying over spilt milk" (i.e., one must let go of the past), it's often used with a mind to the now-impending consequences. A similar phase would be "the die is cast" (Alea iacta est, uttered upon Caesar's "crossing the Rubicon").

share|improve this answer

Expect the worst, hope for the best

In some situations you resign yourself to the worst outcome so you have nothing to lose. However, you may just be pleasantly surprised when things go your way after all is said and done!

Many examples fit here, such as being the underdog in a sporting event or playing the lottery. When you lose, no big deal as it was expected.

share|improve this answer

"In the lap of the gods" is close to what I think you're looking for. It's taken from Homer's Iliad. The more religious (or more monotheistic) version is "in God's hands".

share|improve this answer

I don't know if these qualify as "proverbs" in the sense of common usage among the population generally, but many Christians are familiar with the following passages that speak to worry/leaving things in God's hands:

Psalm 55:22 (NASB)—Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Psalm 56:3 (NASB)—When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)—Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV)—Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I won't quote the whole passage, but here are some key excerpts (these are the words of Jesus):

Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)—Do not worry then, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear for clothing?" . . . But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. . . .

Hope this helps. :)

share|improve this answer
1  
No, none of these are proverbs, so they don't relate to the question. This is English Language & Usage, not Bible Studies. –  Dan Hulme Jun 15 at 15:06

protected by KitFox Jun 18 at 13:27

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.