Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


What God does while I'm "waiting".

I probably shouldn't be writing. 

It's way past midnight and the cold medication for my bronchitis is beginning to set in. I feel relaxed and a little blurry . . . so perhaps I'll save this to draft and check it again in the morning before publishing it, just in case. 

A few years ago, I wrote a short story. It went something like this: 

There once was a little girl in a waiting room. She sat on the hard plastic chairs swinging her feet and wishing she could be somewhere else . . . anywhere else but there. Just as she sighed again and slumped back in her chair for the 15th time, she felt a bump against her leg. She looked up to see the handle of a broom. The janitor had been sweeping the floor and the broom handle bumped her leg as he went by. She looked at him with an annoyed face but was met with a twinkle in his eye and a double nod of his head down toward the floor, as if he wanted her to see something. She looked down and saw a small eraser in the middle of the dust pile. He smiled, and walked away. How rude, she thought, to leave that pile right there beside her chair. She waited a few seconds and looked around to make sure no one saw and then reached down and picked up the eraser. It was covered in dust so she rubbed it off on her jeans. It cleaned off nicely and she decided that perhaps it was something she would keep. But as she looked down at the spot where she had dusted it off, she noticed something peculiar, her jeans and legs were gone. Not all of them, just the spot where she had rubbed the eraser. She ran her hand through the spot and sure enough, she had erased her legs. She reached down to her left leg and started rubbing the eraser there. Gone! She tried it on her feet . . . they disappeared! She looked around to see if anyone else noticed but no one did. So, she erased her whole self! (And as you can imagine, that's when her adventure began! . . . )

Last night, I reflected in my journal that I felt like I've been "waiting" for something since my recent graduation from my master's program at Seminary. I guess that's what graduation is. It is the ending of one thing so that the beginning of another thing can happen. So I wondered, what have the beginnings been? And as I listed the many new things that came into my life for the past 8 months, I realized that they have been beginnings! They were unique challenges and opportunities and relationships that I didn't expect but  they perfectly fit into these past 8 months. 

Perhaps "waiting for something" isn't part of God's vocabulary.

 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." Matthew 6:30-34

Maybe, like the janitor in the waiting room, God invites us to be creative, to focus on something else, to find adventure, to love people, to get busy doing what we can with our circumstances in the moment . . . not later, or when circumstances change . . . but in the moment, now! Maybe its a call to repentance for our self-pity and selfish ambitions. Maybe it's about a fresh surrender to what God wants for our every day, every moment, trusting that His ways are best and to take action in doing what we can, now, instead of waiting.

Lord, give us eyes to see your ideas, your purposes and your creativity within this day - for your honour!