Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Psalms 37:34 -- On Waiting and In-Between Spaces

"Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it."
Psalms 37:34

Waiting is hard sometimes.  It's like being stuck in an airport when we're traveling, or rushing to try to get to the next class.  When we're young, sometimes it is this yawning, unbelievable void that we have to suffer through before we can be "big."  I mean, teleportation, not to mention time travel, is way overdue, right?  Then we could just hit the highlights and not slog through all this in-between time.

And yet, here God asks us to wait.  Not only here, but many places. It sort of reminds me of the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), where they have to wait on the bridegroom.  And when the waiting was finally over, some of them were ready and some weren't.  ... And maybe that is the whole point of waiting, of in between space, of life itself.  Because in that in between space between our birth and death dates is everything we have become.  The verse above mentions that while we are waiting we need to keep God's way, and tells us that waiting and doing the right thing will pay off in the end.  Similarly, the parable of the ten virgins encourages us not only to wait, but to *prepare.*  It's kind of like a meeting at work, or perhaps a report at school.  We heard about it three days ahead of time, but still when we get there, we haven't prepared adequately, and so we can't really participate.

God gives us this life... all of it, to learn and to prepare to return to his presence.  There are a lot of challenges inherent in that task.  One of them is jumping ahead and trying to do things without God, when we need to wait for his timing in order to let things happen the right way.  Another can be just waiting, without using the in between time to prepare.  Then, we end up like the 5 foolish virgins who were late, and couldn't participate in the wedding.  Today, let's try to avoid some of the challenges of waiting, and not get too impatient that we give up on God, and also let's not waste our in-between time.  Let's bring oil for our lamps, and a book to read so we can sharpen up our minds, and let's have the spirit with us through it all so that we can recognize the opportunities that God places in our way, as we travel through the vast in-between spaces of our lives.

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