I grew up in a very funny family. Not dysfunctional/funny (well, that too, but that’s another blog) but hilarious/funny. My husband can always tell when I’m on the phone with one of my brothers or sisters because of the raucous laughter coming from the room. “What’s so funny?” he’ll ask. “Everything he says!” I’ll say.
We spent lots of time playing games inside and out when we were growing up. One of our favorite jokes came at the beginning of a race of any sort. We’d be lined up, muscles tense, anticipating the explosion of energy to get off the line first. The starter would call out, “On your mark…..Geeeeeeht seeeht……..WAIT!” and we’d fall all over ourselves unable to stop the forward lean. It was best when it happened two or three times in a row. By the time he actually yelled “GO!” we looked like storks trying to get our legs to cooperate enough with our brains to actually run.
It’s March at the seminary, and I feel like a stork.
Most of us who are awaiting vicarage assignments and calls to ministries and congregations are standing at the starting line, muscles tense, anticipating the announcement of our calls into service. Church district reps are buzzing around campus, professors are in conferences with hopefuls, meeting after meeting (after meeting) of “Don’t forget this, or this, or THIS when you go to your new ministry.” Many of us have had interviews and Skype calls. Some of us have even visited interested congregations. We’ve lined up at the starting blocks, and focused on the finish line just a short distance away. But the official information won’t be revealed until May 1st.
“On your mark….Geeeeeht seeeht….WAIT!”
I have to admit, I’m a very bad waiter. Not the restaurant kind, just the life kind. I hate December all the way up until the 24th. I don’t want to be reminded about the coming vacation until the day before we leave, it’s time to pack and the plane is on the runway. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues. Yet this is how life works. Things take time; the seasons themselves remind us of that.
I’ve discovered that waiting is sort of like Sabbath. I am forced to slow down, rein in my frustration, value the moment for any sacredness I can wring from it, and stop to savor the things that go unnoticed when I strain forward toward the next goal. Every moment waiting is a chance to be still, regain peace, center my thoughts on Christ’s provision and grace, while enjoying a view of the future He has designed for me.
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
On your mark….get set….wait on the Lord.