Friday, January 7, 2011

Wow! Maybe I've Stumbled onto Something...

So, this morning, when I opened Facebook, I discovered that one of my alma maters, Columbia International University, had posted a link to one of their professor's blogs. And guess what this series of entries was about?

...How times of waiting are calls to walk by FAITH!

Weird? More likely, providential. In a separate, opening article (on this concept as it relates to leadership), he defines waiting as living in the gaps: reality most of my life is in the gaps between God’s promise and the answer. Much of my leadership has been seeking clarity on what to do while we are waiting on something else — that God seems to be delaying.

So, if most of my life is lived in the gaps (as it certainly FEELS like I am doing), what do I do with this most-time? How do I live here? In the first article he asserts:
The Christian life is filled with waiting. Sometimes waiting feels like standing in a long, slow moving checkout aisle at the store. At other times, waiting is more like desperately clinging to the floating scraps of broken wood after the ship has gone down. And then there are those moments when waiting is like a young child on Christmas Eve; not being able to sleep from the excitement of what might be under the tree in the morning...How do we wait? We wait in faith.

In the second article, he asserts that what we do in times of waiting is remember God's past provision and anticipate his future gifts:
Remembering and Anticipating are spiritual disciplines that grow our heart’s capacity to respond to God in faith and hope. [My note: previously, he has stated that these--faith, hope, and also love--are God's goal for us.]

Also, and this was the humdinger for me:
A good definition of the Christian life could be – it is a waiting life punctuated by samples of God letting us taste what will be.

Yes! That's what I feel. Lots of waiting, punctuated by moments where God displays His brilliant glory and self. (My struggle is just that I'm ready to get on to the 'display' part!)

And isn't that what we see in Scripture anyway? Those moments we all desire our lives to mimic were just that--moments! Think about it--most of 'our heroes' lives were spent waiting too. (Go ahead: pick a hero, and then read the back story. You'll see.)

Waiting is standing in a space where we look back to mountains God has led us over in the past and where we can see mountain tops in front of us that make our necks sore from looking up. Waiting is the flat plain in between. Waiting is that boring walk through miles of endless open terrain where there are very few identifiable land marks to give us clear bearings...In the plain of waiting it is easy to feel lost, unsafe, exposed, uncertain, and then doubt shows up and asks to walk with you.

This is how I feel--lost, unsafe, exposed, & uncertain--and probably for this exact reason. Doubt does show up. Which is why faith is the only response that works.

And though this isn't exactly the point of his third article, it spawned this thought:

God waited first.

God offered all of Himself and His perfect provision to me...and then He waited for me.

He waited for me.

He waits for me.

What kind of love is this?

Amazing love, oh what sacrifice
The Son of God, given for me?
My debt He pays, and my death He dies
That I might live. That I might live!
(I hope you know this Bebo Norman song)

Loved beyond imagination,

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. --2 Peter 3:8-9

A Postscript for the Theologians of the Group: I know God chose me before I chose Him. Please see my point and understand that I'm not breaking down the theology here. More on that later, perhaps. :-)


Bob said...

The point (A good definition of the Christian life could be – it is a waiting life punctuated by samples of God's letting us taste what will be) reminded me of something my dad/your granddad told me about his experience in World War II: "It was mostly endless boredom, waiting for something to happen - punctuated by moments of sheer terror."

It occurs to me there's a reason the Christian life and warfare are described so similarly: The Christian life is warfare (Eph 6:12).

By the way, your Granddad also once shared a story about a time he skipped a chance to meet King George VI. Since their missions were flown at night, they were in the habit of sleeping during the day, but the King, of course, showed up at their airbase unannounced during what Granddad figured was his sack time, so when word came around that the King would like to meet and thank the American flyers, Granddad stayed in his bunk. Later the rest of Granddad's crew told him, "Joe, you shoulda gone. The king's a regular guy." Granddad remarked to me, "I kinda wish I'd dragged out to meet the king, just so I could say I'd done that." There's probably a point somewhere in here about being awake when the King arrives, but it's lost on me.

ShalomSeeker said...

Uncle Bob-
Thanks for your comments. I keep thinking and thinking about them, especially the Grandad quote. It seems familiar, so maybe Dad had mentioned it to me at some point. Either way, it seems incredibly apropos, and I thank you for it. :-) And I love the king story! That was new, and wonderful! Thanks for taking an interest, and for sharing. I love you!