There is graduating going on all around us! It is the season of change. It's a time for new phases of life, new jobs and new purpose. This corporate movement stirs our soul toward more and encourages us, as part of society, to try something new and different. But for some, this month is far from encouraging. In fact, it can be down right depressing. It can bring that fear of failure right to the surface and it can uncover those deep rooted feelings of inadequacy and insufficiency. For many, it seems that everyone around them is moving toward exciting things but the world is leaving them behind.
What do we do with the waiting? How do we sit when we feel likes it should be our time to move but we are locked behind the virtual door of life? We have a grand vision of a future endeavor after which we are ready and willing to run, but we keep tripping on obstacles in our way. We are being unwillingly slowed as we grow increasingly more ready, restless and frustrated.
I run like a maniac trying to get to the shore. I can see it in the distance but a blinding reflection off the water makes it hard to stare too long. I think I can hear the rumble of the water from somewhere deep down within its belly. I run faster hoping this is the beginning of the Great Divide. I try to quiet my breathing so I can hear it more clearly but my lungs are thirsty for air. I have picked up my pace on what I hope is the last leg of this journey and I am wondering now if it is sustainable. It always feels like the end…..like I’m almost there….and then something else stands in my way, keeping me from my Parting.
This staying me is part of the plan. Part of the process. And even though I know this deep within my heart, my desire, passion and fervor push me on as an athlete training for the Olympics. I will not give up. I will keep trudging through this sand though it feels like quicksand, calling me under if I relent. Although my path keeps twisting and turning and my compass needle spins round and round as if it just can’t make up it’s mind, I try to focus on the shore. If I can just make it out of this sand…… If I can just keep my path straight…. If I can just run faster…. And then I remember what I forget everyday: I must arrive at the shore at the very moment of The Parting. Not a second too early or a second too late. The timing must be perfect in order for the miracle to occur. I must remember that the grains of sand are multiplied when I need slowing and that my lungs are enlarged when I need to move faster. I must remember that although I am the one running, I am not in charge. There is something much greater than me orchestrating this event and I could not miss it if I tried!
A great wind swirls my hair in circles around my head and seems to lift my feet into the air. I look down to see my feet continuing to run although I’m floating in the air. I wonder if I should keep trying, or if I should give in to the ease. Oh the fine line between giving up and faithful rest. In a moment, I am there at the shore of a great and powerful sea. The waters are roaring with urgency, its waves splashing salty water onto my face. I lick my lips and taste the salt that is left behind. The rumbling is louder now, so loud in fact that I can feel it vibrating within my body. Am I really here? Could it really be my time? I know then, within my soul, that it is time to walk. I question this feeling only for a split second as I begin to walk toward the water. My head fights with my heart quibbling that If I am wrong, I will certainly drown. But I know I am not wrong. I remember all the promises that have gotten me here. I remember all of the sand and the curves in the road and the victories along the way. I remember all of the hope whispered in my ear and all of the faith authored unto my heart. I remember.
The water parts before me just as my feet step where the water would have been. The timing was impeccable. And though the waters rise hundreds of feet above me, with enough strength in each ounce to crush me in a heartbeat, I am not afraid. I walk without looking back, relishing in this moment of perfect timing. I am here.
Life is but a perfect orchestration of events moving us at just the right speed to accomplish God’s plan. And even though we feel like the one who is running, pulling and tugging at time, we honestly have little to do with our time of arrival. All the little things that slow us down, that lock us behind the door of life for a time, they are purposeful. The Orchestrator uses those things to slow our pace toward our goal. For we must arrive at our destination at just the right time. And oh how he uses our time behind those closed doors! It is the backstage area for our show. This is where it all happens! This is where He prepares our hearts and readies our hands for His service. This is where we are cleaned and spruced and rehearsed for what lies ahead. This time backstage, is the most important time of the show. It is what He uses to truly prepare our hearts for His use.
But in the quiet times, the hours that pass without any hint of advancement are hard. Our unbelief wants to ask, “Why?” “Why this nothingness?“ “Why when I have so much to give am I still behind this door?” Honestly, the obstacles grow wearisome and it would be a whole lot easier to find another route. And if we are honest, it is even harder when He speeds us up only to slow us down again. When we have tasted acceleration toward our goal, it is hard to sit back and wait again. Without faith that God is still working in this silent time, we have nothing. Faith tells us His timing is perfect. Faith tells us that everything we are going through is being used to prepare us for this goal. Faith says, “How can I obey you today, Lord?”
How can we obey God in the everyday mundane? In the green-room of life? For it is in this daily routine where we can most find Him working quietly to ready our hearts. Look for Him today. Ask Him how you may obey Him in the seemingly small and insignificant. Ask Him how to follow Him in His silence and even in the things that hurt you. He has promised that He is there. And one day, at just the right time, you will arrive on that shore ready to step into the unknown. You will be ready to leap out in faith and watch as the water is parted for your new journey.