The Waiting Room

17_waitingroom_invI have those days, today being one of them, where it feels like I’m just waiting on God to do something.  The thing about faith is that it means waiting.  We’re told to wait on God (Ps 37).  It’s like going to the doctor’s office, there’s a waiting room, and then you go to a smaller room where you wait some more (this is a Seinfeld bit, BTW).  Sometimes you wait a little, sometimes a lot.   I’m not quite sure what I’m waiting for, just that it’s what I’m supposed to do.  I’m not good at the waiting, the being still.  I’d rather be doing something.  But even when I’m restless and hurrying up to wait, even then God is still moving & working in some form or fashion.   That’s my hope.  And that is the essence of faith, isn’t it?  Being sure of what we hope for & certain of what we don’t see?  I look forward to when the waiting is done.  But until then, I’ll wait some more.

Where’s the finish line, for crying out loud?

Most people who know me know that I run, albeit slowly. One of the things I enjoy about running is that it can be amazingly simple – the only special equipment you need is a good pair of running shoes. I also run because I’m a huge ice cream fan (my favorite is Fudge Moose Tracks, in case you were wondering). Several years ago I ran my first marathon (that’s 26.2 miles). Training for the marathon was pretty simple: each week I would run a little bit further until I was ready to run 26 miles. Running for several hours at a time can be fun, exciting, challenging, overwhelming, boring, painful, emotional (watch the finishers at a marathon sometime – you’ll see what I mean), etc. There are times when you feel great and other times when you’re ready to quit and go get a milkshake (or a Gibson’s donut).

Running also gives us a great picture of life. On several occasions, the Bible compares our journey to running as it is a;lso a process of endurance, joy, pain, and sometimes boredom.

I feel like I’ve been relating to the enduring part a lot lately. Sometimes I wonder, “where the heck is the stupid finish line?” I feel like I’ve been running for a very long time and I’m ready to be done. I’m tired of the enduring and ready to move on to something else. And yet, the very thing that is exhausting is the very thing that God is using to shape me into a more Christ like follower (see James 1:1-8). And that’s what I’m called to be, a follower. I’m called to go where He leads. Just like the coach who pushes the athletes, so God pushes us and challenges us for He knows that it is through the trying and testing that our faith grows stronger which is pleasing to Him (see Heb 11:6).

The life that God calls us to is not a natural way of life. Paul expresses recognition of this in Galatians 2:20 when he tells us that he lives his life by faith in Christ who lives in him. Unless he relies on Christ, he is unable to live as Christ has called, he will be unable to finish the race. That is why we are instructed to focus on Christ (Heb 12:1-2), so that we might recognize Who it is that calls us and Who it is that will complete His work in us.

So, I will keep running. I may be slow, I may walk, I may get injured, I may falter, I may fall down, but by God’s grace, I will keep moving toward that finish line, wherever it may be.

The following video is of Team Hoyt, a father/son team, which has completed multiple IronMan events – that’s a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride followed by a marathon.  The thing is, the dad is pulling & carrying his son through the entire event as his son has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk.  I can’t think of a better example of endurance and sharing the journey.