Thursday, January 19, 2012

Biding time ... or living?

It occurred to me the other night as we were proceeding through our evening routine without anticipating Daddy's return from work: there is such a difference between biding time waiting and simply continuing with the business of life.

Instead of hoping, at every moment, that Daddy will walk in the door and we can continue with the business of dinner, play and bedtime ... we just continued.

When dinner was ready, we ate.

When we were finished, we played.

When it was time, we put on pj's, brushed teeth, read stories, and tucked in for bed.

And Daddy showed up just in time for kisses and prayers.

It isn't often Daddy comes home that late. A high-priority project required his time that evening, and we were lucky enough to know about it ahead of time.

It's the other nights. The nights when he usually walks in the door at 5:30 but is delayed until 5:45 ... 6:00 p.m.

And really, this is such a blessing.

A daddy who comes right home because he wants to and a job in which it is more the norm to be able to do that at a regular time than not.

It is the state of mind that challenges.

As our church family waits (sometimes patiently, sometimes less so) for God to call our next lead pastor, the same sentiments begin to brew.

The sense of suspended animation ... "as soon as," "once we know who," "when the new pastor," are phrases uttered so regularly they burden our souls with the anticipation of an arrival.

And yet, we all anticipate an ultimate arrival ...

Christ's coming and our salvation.

But I don't see the entirety of the Christian community suspending life until He arrives.

We keep living.

We are called to live. To service. To not just continue in the routines but forever seek the lost, the lonely, the least of these most starving for grace and extend ourselves in love.

So we must not just bide our time.

We must not simply be in a state of waiting.

We can prepare.

We can anticipate.

But in the meantime, we must live out our call to lives of service and love.

As Paul wrote to the Philippians while in prison, we too, must carry on:

8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ[a]—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:8-11
New Living Translation (NLT)