Restless in the Wait

My mom is on a purge cycle that has lasted for the past few, oh I don’t know, years? She likes to go through their attic and mail me her findings from my school years. Most of the things she sends me I look at, think, “Why?” and throw in the trash. Moving as much as we have over the past six years does that to you. However, several months ago I made my trip to the mailbox and discovered this little treasure, which I wrote circa 1992.

So I was 13 years old. And apparently unimpressed with the church service which was taking place while I scrawled it out on the back of their bulletin.

I chuckled off and on for the better part of the afternoon after receiving this poem, which my mom had saved all these years.

It made me think about church, faith, and even after decades have passed, the boredom can still seep in if I allow it. My spiritual life can become as dead as the leaves lying under the six inches of snow in our back yard if I am not constantly stimulating that muscle, that need, that ever thirsty, never satisfied taste for living water.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m waiting for that next “big” thing to happen. That next milestone or move or valley or opportunity. I become restless, searching for the next door or window, only to find it isn’t there. But the great cost in living this way, in feeling this constant internal turmoil is that I miss the grand moments that are happening right there in front of me. Tiny miracles. A sunrise over a fresh blanket of snow. A new word or phrase from my two-year-old. A question from my oldest son which needs a well thought out answer instead of being brushed off.

Cuddling with my little ones on the couch and chasing them around the play hut as they play hide and seek? That’s important. Making sure my son understands his homework? It matters.

Today, after being stuck in the house for the better part of three days between sickness, snow days and school cancellations, we went to Chick-fil-a for lunch. Although it was blistering cold out, the sun was shining the the fresh snow, the sky was a clear blue, and a beautiful day for a drive. On the way home, Jaden requested to ride on the “bumpy road.” An unpaved, dirt road which is haphazardly placed between our road and one which runs parallel to ours. My kids love it. So as we’re bouncing around, putting all of our SUV’s four-wheel drive capability to the test, I let myself soak it the joy of this little fragment.

In this life, we will never fully “arrive.” We aren’t satisfied because we are eternal beings, our souls ever aching, always hungering for our Father and home is in Heaven. That next “like,” next hit, next trip or pair of shoes or event? It will come and pass, but we’ll still be craving more. In the same way, as followers of Jesus, our journey to become more like him never ends. There’s always another step, another leap, another leg of the race. He is the only One that can truly satisfy, but that the same time we must constantly refill our cup until we reach our everlasting destiny.

There are seasons when we need to act, to move, and moments when we simply need to be still. To listen. To wait. Oh God, do I loathe waiting. Ironically, one of my favorite verses in Scripture is Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Perhaps because so often I cling to those words, knowing they will quiet my spirit, even if just for a little while.

God, give me the wisdom to know the difference. To not look down at my pedometer and see that I’ve taken twenty steps when you prompted me to take one. Help me not to become spiritually vapid during the stillness but ever anticipating, ever hungry, ever yearning for You.

As I wait on God, I am comforted by these words from Sidewalk Prophets. I hope for anyone else out there who is feeling restless, they give you peace as well.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

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2 thoughts on “Restless in the Wait

  1. This is a very timely post for me. My husband and I have been praying for guidance and direction for the past year, and we finally settled on a big decision regarding my work situation. Once it was made, the relief I felt quickly turned into the “what's next?” feeling you're talking about. This is a great reminder that while there will always be a next big thing, it's often enough to just stop and enjoy the beauty in the present moment.

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