Have you ever spent an entire week sweating and bleeding and not sleeping alongside teenagers on a mission trip only to return home from the trip to a parent who is 40 minutes late picking them up? It’s maddening. We’re physically tired. We’re spiritually spent. We love our students and exult in all that God has done over the week…but we’re ready to go home. We’ve had these kids for a week – the least the parents can do is show up on time, right?
And so the hypocrisy begins.
We internally rail on parents when they show up late to retrieve their students or the group has to wait because someone is running late for departure time. But we’re also the first to pull out the Holy Spirit when we need to run late during Bible study. I mean, we can’t rush the things of God – and maybe the Spirit is just thick amongst our students one night.
Or how about this one – we tell parents we’ll be back from the outing at a specific time, but we’re running late because…well, hey, things happen. We are coordinating an eight car, two passenger van convoy. And you’d think that fast food restaurant had never served a bus-load of teenagers with an abundance of special orders and a pocket full of pennies before! Cut us some slack!
Life cannot be ruled by the clock. Sometimes issues do arise. Sometimes the Spirit of God does demand additional minutes to complete His work.
And sometimes parents run late picking up their kids. If we want to hold them to a Timex standard, we better keep an eye on our own pocket watch. Clocks can be sinister inventions…but they are also powerful communicators about what and WHO matters.
“Sometimes waiting turns to wasting.”
And with those words, Jesus rocked my world through Katie’s wisdom once again!
Our family has been in a holding pattern for a LOT longer than we ever anticipated when this journey was thrust upon us by God. And it was very evident early on that it would be a significant wait…much like that time you went to the doctor’s office and got there on time for your early-morning appointment and still missed an entire day of work.
You remember the appointment, right? A minor annoyance at first, you watched the clock and wondered exactly how long you’d be there. As you settled in to an uncomfortable seat and hoped you wouldn’t catch what anyone else had, you began to plan out your adjusted calendar for the day. As you realized even the most well-adjusted calendar wouldn’t be happening THAT day, you sent a few e-mails or texts from your smart phone and just resolved yourself to the wait. And at some point, waiting became wasting as you picked up magazines you would never read on a normal day, took quizzes that assessed stuff you didn’t really care about, and counted something, anything, in an effort to occupy the ticking moments until your name was called.
And when finally your name was called, relief washed over you…partially because the wait had taken SO DADGUM LONG…and partially because your brain was turning to mush as you migrated from waiting to wasting.
Sometimes waiting on God is necessary, though annoying and uncommonly painful. And sometimes, we allow ourselves to unwittingly drift from waiting to wasting. Don’t waste the time God is waxing silent or slow, as some would define slow. Be ‘active’ in the wait. Seek the truths God wants to teach you. Lean into the significance of stillness. And when it’s time, let relief consume as your name is called…not because you’ve been wasting….but because the wait is over.