I usually berate myself when time and circumstances change my patterns. I think, “Oh no, I’ve dropped out of grace again and I’m sliding down the slippery slope of inattention to the things of God.” But am I?
You, however, should stand firm in the love of God, constructing a life within the holy faith, praying the Spirit’s prayer, as you wait eagerly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, which leads to eternal life. [Jude 1:20-21, Voice translation]
Always dreaming of a future life, I imagined so many things: the perfect family, the perfect job, fame, fortune, respect, and a certain level of material possessions (growing with each year, of course). I would be a deep thinker and a luminous communicator. I would be Job before the tragedies took everything away from him (see Job 29:13-25). But unlike Job, I wasn’t looking back on such a life, I looked forward, still hoping it would come, some breakthrough, some coming together of the stars, some magic.
I am reminded of my mother, who at 90, sorrowed and complained often, “What should I do with the rest of my life?” In some ways, it’s charming, this idea that anything could still happen. But I knew the truth of it, it was more about a certain disappointment in what was, what had been. The life she had lived was not the life she had dreamed.
Each life has a rhythm. We can live in that rhythm or go counterpoint to it. Each life has seasons. The seasons may be challenging or boring. They may be mundane or full of excitement. But I see clearly today, the time must be embraced for what it is and not for what it could be.
As a believer in the Christ Spirit within, this “being-ness” is even more critical because it is Spirit that sets the beat.
I am always looking for life to happen faster: either I’m trying to get through the tough spots quicker or leap over the boring spots. But if I can be centered in the unity of soul, in the marriage of my spirit with Christ, then, each moment counts again.
In Christ, that is the key. And anything else is kicking against the “goads” [Acts 26:14].
Waiting in Christ (in Spirit) is different than any other kind of waiting. It is not filled with expectations. It is not building pictures of the next moment or next year. It is rest and trust and confidence. It is “yes.”
So, what prevents me from becoming a slug, a beached whale? Waiting in Christ includes action, but God-breathed. In the Spirit place of waiting, God’s voice is clear and the next step certain.
Like the many paradoxes of faith, this is one more: waiting in Christ is the most active choice of all. It is the womb of miracles.