hidden glory

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

waiting and resting

At the end of a busy day, I am choosing to write rather than sleep. (applaud me for fulfilling one of my 2007 resolutions...) I realized today with sadness that my January that was to be "a month of rest" has quickly filled up. I should have free time galore, with only a 20 hour/week job and no classes until spring semester begins in February. But isn't it crazy the way that we humans fill the free space in our days with activities?

"I'd love to...because I don't have anything going on this month": these words have escaped my mouth too many times, I fear. And the rest I hoped for has come in only in hours--rather than the days I was hoping for. Yet I think I am rediscovering the rest that can come through a change from routine. And a change from academia to "real life."

I have spent much more time with people than I usually get to when classes are in full force. There is something quite soul-refreshing to be "reading" live stories, interacting with people and their real problems rather than the academic analysis of stories and problems. This latter endeavor (a worthy one!) makes one prone to a growing coldness of heart and distance from others if it's not undertaken for the purpose of interacting with real people. I've seen this during my time at seminary. It's frightening, and reminds me of the warning in Hebrews to "encourage one another DAILY...so that none of you will be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

I have experienced a revitalization of a heart grown too cold in these days of being with friends and talking to more people than I have in a long time. I feel my soul coming back to life. That is the beauty of relationships and community! It's what we're made for...and we slowly shrivel up spiritually without it. I knew all this before, but it's been good to experience it anew after a season of intense studying and fewer interactions with people.

I have been encouraged these past few days especially. As I wait on God's leading for what to do when I graduate in May, it is encouraging to remember that I am to look at Jesus more than I obsess about my future. One older sister in the Lord put it this way this week: "When I don't gaze at Jesus, I will gaze at 100 other lesser things." Another brother in Christ who is going through a season of brokenness is testimony to the paradoxical hope that comes to those who are awaiting heaven while living on earth. A friend I met with shared with me how she and her husband are waiting for adoption. Yet another friend expressed a dream she wants to pursue but must wait for direction as to the next step of the journey. She is daring to be alive to her heart, which means she is waiting for more.

We are all waiting for something.

The challenge is not to lose sight of today in the midst of the waiting. Waiting can lead to a future-obsessed way of thinking which I caught in myself the past couple of days. So the key seems to be how to rest in today even as you wait for what you're hoping for in tomorrow. It could be a new job, a baby, a wedding, resolution to a conflict, the end of a semester that's just begun, graduation.....................

The possibilities are endless. I'm trying to figure out how to wait expectantly, but rest in today. Being fully present, even in those moments that are less than ideal. This is where growth occurs. A steadily growing perseverance and an unshakable peace. No small miracle for this woman who grows quickly impatient and anxious, with even the slow-moving line at the post office!


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