Saturday, June 26, 2021

Slow, Still, Wait.

A few years ago my family started taking vacations. Though we had been married almost fifteen years, it was not until that point in our relationship that we had the desire, finances, and ability to align our schedules to take a significant trip together. Since then, we've been all over the United States and twice to Canada. I love to see landmarks and experience once in a lifetime moments.

We've also been working on capturing these moments with photos. I don't want to be that mom who takes pictures of everything their child does (you know that parent, right?), but I don't fully trust myself to remember it all. As I type these words, I look to the corner of my living room where many of these photos are hung.  My mind goes back to those moments when...
My son lost his tooth at a baseball game.
My family got free ice cream.
My son ordered strange food at a restaurant.
We toured a battleship.
My husband and I ate at a restaurant with a fantastic view.
Dee Strange-Gordon picked my son out of the crowd to give a baseball.
Both times my sons pretended to be chased by a dinosaur.

As I approach forty (ten days, and counting), I find myself slowing down.  Not slowing down as if my battery was running out of juice - though that's certainly happening more - but as if I don't want to run through life as fast.  Perhaps that's what happens when you realize it's possible you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.

I mentioned to a friend this week my reluctance to turn forty.  He reminded me that I may want to reconsider my stance; turning forty, after all, is better than the alternative. Point taken.

Yet even in my slowing, I find it hard to be patient. I remind myself that some things just take time. Patience is a work of the Spirit in me (read: here). When Jesus told His disciples to wait, they started asking Him what He had planned (read: here). The disciples weren't the only ones to struggle, think Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Aaron, and all the Isreaelites in the desert for that fact.

Instead, I seek to live in patience.  To worry less about what is happening around me, and to allow my paitence be a holy act of commitment to God. I will wait.  I will be still.  I will not be upset. I will not allow sin to win.  As the psalmist wrote:

Be still and wait patiently for the Lord to act.
Don’t be upset when other people succeed.
Don’t be upset when they carry out their evil plans.
Turn away from anger and don’t give in to wrath.
Don’t be upset, because that only leads to evil.
(Psalm 37:7-8, NIRV)

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