On day three of our Lenten season, I want to talk about what it means to wait gracefully. I will warn you as I start this blog entry, I am not always a graceful person. Let me say that again, I am not always a graceful person. In fact, if I were being truthful, I would say that there are many occasions in my life when I’m not even closely graceful, let alone grace filled. Still, today’s message is not about me, but rather God’s work being done in our lives, as we wait.
Today, as I was making my way to lunch, I happened to fall in line behind the slowest driver in the world. Do you know him? Driving a little white Hundai Elantra, he was creeping down the Golden Mile in Wysox, and I was dying behind him, as I tried to keep my composure and at the same time ride his bumper slowly toward the horizon. I can’t begin to share with you the level of frustration I felt as I had to follow this man down the street at a snail’s pace. And then, I pull into the parking lot where I’m going to have my lunch, and there is another man (I can only guess the first guys doppelganger), who also appears to be in absolutely no hurry to get where he’s going. Mind you, I have thirty minutes for lunch and I’ve already spent fifteen or those thirty minutes following slow guy No. 1 from one end of town to the other! “Can it be, I wonder, that this a Divinely ordained experiment in patience? Perhaps God is showing me what it really means to wait on Him”, I think. If so, I might not make it through forty-three more days until Easter.
You can relate, right? You know what I mean. My time is valuable. My lunch break is short. I need to move, move, MOVE through this traffic. It can’t be wrong for me to be so focused on the inconvenience to me that this situation is causing, can it? After all, I’m special!
Oh, and there it is, that selfish, whiney, cry-baby attitude that keeps me from achieving my wholly graceful goal in life. I don’t want to wait. I want it now. In fact, I wanted IT yesterday, or two weeks ago, or last year. This is the human condition, and something I struggle with more days than I’d like to admit. It’s not very graceful, is it? Thankfully, there is a remedy for the problem I have with impatience, and I find it in The Bible, God’s love letter to his children.
Listen to this: “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart, for they will give you a long and satisfying life. Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. Prov 3:1-6 NLT
Oh, now I remember. This life is about Him, not me. The commitment I made years ago was to follow His lead, not my own advice. I’m called to surrender my best thinking, which by the way doesn’t really get me very far most days anyway. I’m supposed to be focused on helping my fellowman to find the way home, before daybreak vanishes and spiritual night falls upon us all.
Day three comes with a reminder: Wait for favor to come to you, Lori. A good reputation is on the way. You can trust in our God with all your heart and let go of that need you have to be in the driver’s seat. Seek His will in all you do, and WAIT for his wisdom to come. He is the greatest Promise Keeper of all time. He will direct your path.