Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting vs. Discovering

This is not your season of waiting, 
this is your season of discovering who you truly are. 

I came across this line a few days back, while reading 'Nurture' by Lisa Bevere.
My heart said: Write it down. Remember. Snap out of waiting. Go discover.
Because the tendency that I have and hear from others is that waiting is more of an excuse to be unproductive and bored. An pointless phase when you just hit 'cruise' and hope to get through it as fast as possible. But the even bigger problem is that sometimes, the longer we wait, the more we want to stay there, despite the empty drone. Unfortunately, the rut gets comfortable. The wait undoubtedly wins when all we think about is passing the time - and the slower and more defeating it becomes.

But whether we choose it or not, waiting is a fact of life. From test results to due dates, red lights to long lines. I could go on, but I think Dr. Suess says it best (from 'Oh The Places You'll Go!).

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for
Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you! Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.

I have a confession. Although it's embarrassing to admit, this is often me.
Leave it to Dr. Suess to expose the true silliness of my human nature. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I just want to reach into that cartoon illustration and shake people from their trance... Wake up!

But going back to Lisa's quote, I realize how often I gravitate to becoming stagnant in times of waiting rather than seizing opportunities in the present. The devil tries really hard into tricking us into the idea that the 'waiting times' are a chance to shift into neutral. Because when he does it, he wins. I think one of the devil's greatest feats is convincing us that we can't be productive while we wait. Therefore, he keeps us locked in this helpless standstill, allowing the days to pass while we 'wait' for change that might never come.

In Ephesians, Paul calls this a cop out:
Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). If it's alright with you, I am going to go ahead and add on that we need to make the most of no opportunities too. Because, although it may be harder to see at first, no opportunities could offer more possibilities than that one door we wish would just open.

Here's how this all relates to me: it's in my season of singleness. Honestly, it would be much easier to sit around and sulk (and believe me, I've done it). Standing along the sidelines, watching the couples gather two by two, and wonder why my knight in shining armour hasn't shown up yet.
In doing this, however, I am unknowingly turning the wait into a far more gruelling time than it is. It also hinders my confidence with the Lord's plans and interferes with my trust in Him (another win for Satan). If I could just get off the bench and take part in the action of the game - seizing opportunities, stretching my boundaries, and experiencing so many wondrous new opportunities that come my way, I would no longer have time to feel sorry for myself. I may even feel, dare I say, fortunate to grow in these unique ways while I can... Imagine that!
And by the grace of God, I'm beginning to open myself up to this idea. Gradually peeling off the layers of remorse and pity, and scanning the horizon for new delights that my heart didn't even know I had. Truly, these single days are a gift and a joy. How many opportunities I've missed over the years while I 'waited'. With the Lord's redemption, I hope to compensate for some of those lost years while I still have the chance!

So whether we're single, or married, or have a little one on the way, or have a full minivan of family, may we all break out of the trap of the wait. May we find the 'bright places' and 'boom bands' that Dr. Suess writes about. They may not have the shimmer that we expect at first, but oh may we stay confident that the discoveries we make in our waiting are far more glorious than another hour of watching the clock.
Yes! Let's discover! And while we're at it, stumble upon a little bit more of who He is, renewing our hope and faith in the Creator of time, who is working all things to work together for our good.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All that glitters.

We live in a shimmery, sparkly world.
Every time I come back to North America, I am always enthralled with the new. Flashy screens and glossy magazine pages all around advertise the most current technologies, car models, fashions, music, hot spots and food. It never ceases to turn my head.
12 days ago I arrived back in Canada, and every since I've been captivated by the latest and greatest. Coconut mocha frappucinos, magnetic nail polish (?!?!), luxurious lotions and perfumes, glowing city skylines, racks full of purses, shoes and sunglasses, chrome wheels, rainbow-coloured flowers blooming in cashier lines, touch screens, and the list just keeps on going.

As if that wasn't enough, I went to Texas. Chelsea, my dear friend and neighbour from Haiti invited me to visit, and thus began another blur of bigger and better. We rode around in her sweet SUV with the country twang cranked, and all the while I snapped pictures of glassy skyscrapers, perfectly iced cupcakes, rooftop music parties, and neon light signs, not to mention all of the cowboy hats and boots.

Upon my arrival in Dallas on Tuesday night, I had the privilege to attend 'The Porch', which is a thriving young adult ministry at Watermark Community Church. Standing among the hundreds of others in attendance in the massive sanctuary we were led in worship by the band, singing...
'Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades, 
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame'

Such a familiar song, but oh how the words struck me. I realized in that moment how nothing has, can, or ever will compare with the majesty and glory of our King. Ever since I left Haiti, I've been in a constant state of awe and excitement. Wide-eyed and heart beating fast for what I get to experience in these days. It's all so good, but reflecting on those lyrics, I realize how easy it is for me to get wrapped up in relationships, new products, or travels that seek to claim to fulfillment of my life here on earth. I fall for those empty promises daily. And yet the truth still remains that our God is far beyond anything that may try to distract us. As the lyrics state, His light keeps on shining higher and brighter, and His glory reaches far beyond the glitter and glamour of our 21st century.

With more weeks ahead of me, I embrace all that this summer has to offer. Aisle by aisle, road by road, destination by destination. I feel blessed to experience the sights and sounds of this beautiful nation. But I also pray to be reminded of the expiration of all these things tangible. How nothing can truly satisfy my soul but the love and goodness of my Saviour. Above all, may I live to make His glory known.

'And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise,
From the inside out, Lord my soul cries out'