Ever have seasons of slow? Of in-between? Times when you know you are waiting, but you aren’t even sure what for?
If my life could be compared to a journey by bus, the past months would look like this:
Me, at the terminal. Buses coming and going. I approach a bus. “Am I supposed to be on this bus? Is this my bus?” “No?”
Okay then. More waiting.
There are other buses that seem to be headed to great destinations, but the cost is greater than what I am able or permitted to pay. Not that price, not now, maybe not ever.
Those buses can be hard to walk away from…it is hard not to try to make things happen.
“God, is this one of those times when You take me up on my ‘I will follow You anywhere’ prayers? Okay, let’s get on the most broken-down-nasty-headed-nowhere bus in this place.”
“What? Grow up and stop being a fake martyr? Whew. I was hoping You’d say that!”
So here I am, sitting in the terminal. Watching buses come and go; watching other people embark and disembark, and trying not to be mean to them.
Feeling left out or left behind has a way of bringing out the nasty in us, or at least it can in me.
I guess it is starting to sink in that what you do in the terminal is as important as what bus you eventually get on. In fact, terminal behavior seems to actually have something to do with what bus eventually becomes your ride.
My terminal behavior varies from fit throwing, spells of depression, times of joy and peace, loving and serving my fellow travelers, growing things like patience, grace and wisdom, and quietly listening for direction. I am finding that the more I do the latter, the more I am the middle few and the less I do of the first two.
God is speaking, and we can hear Him, even in the bus terminals of life.
Perhaps you are in a season of slow as well. Or a season of chaos, but not direction. Or a time of “What next?” Or even “Now what?” Try some quiet listening. Ask God to speak to you, to direct you, to fill you with truth. He is not silent, we just so often aren’t listening. Not really listening.
Ironically enough, while I have been working on my practice of listening, an opportunity came for me to donate 500 Hark books to the Leading and Loving it retreat that happened this past week in Las Vegas. The story of Hark is all about listening for God’s messages (that is the ironic part) and, less ironic but equally pertinent, we don’t have the finances to do wild and crazy and generous and daring things like this.
Ok, so maybe there is some irony in that as well.
Because waiting to have “enough” resources to be generous, well, just results in more waiting, and more waiting, and more waiting…because human nature, at least my human nature, is to need just a little more to feel secure. A little more money, a little more practice, a little more talent, a little more time, a little more support, a little more certainty. Those buses just don’t come in. I don’t want to spend forever in the terminal! I want to be flexible enough to take the faith-opportunities God sends my way!
So we packed up the books and put them on the truck and wished them well. It was actually a super awesome moment, after all, seed can’t bear fruit unless it is sown. The story in Hark can’t be read and told and thought about and discussed if it is in boxes of books in my basement. Now, this is not an open door for everyone to ask me for a free book! That isn’t the point. The point is, are we all willing to generously and vulnerably give and share?
Yeah, it is hard for me too. I have one million reasons not to also. But with God’s help we did it. And you know what? No matter what else happens, it is pretty great just to know that God sent a bus to my terminal and I did the right thing by putting the books on it. There is peace and joy and love in that. What wild and daring and scary and generous thing is God asking you to do?
Don’t rely only on yourself.
This quote says it well:
“When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus.” – Corrie ten Boom
Humble yourself, open up your heart and entire being to Him, and you will find yourself in His ability, doing what you thought you could not do.
We must stop with all the “I cant’s”.
If we don’t have a heart to heart until after the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving. Make a few minutes of quiet. Give thanks and then simply be. Listen. Hear. Absorb. Then step out!