Dear friends in Christ,
I have to admit, I’m a really scary mix of The Little Red Hen and Larry the Cable Guy. In case you aren’t familiar with Larry, he’s the guy who gained notoriety with his mantra “Git ‘er done” I can’t answer which came first, Larry, or perhaps, Nike with its slogan “just do it”. Either way, I figure we have all been influenced to some degree, if not by Larry or Nike, perhaps with the epidemic-like busy-ness of the world in regards to our lack of patience in waiting.
In this world of cell phones, texts, and instant messenger, having to wait 3 to 5 days; 6 to 8 months; 1 year, 10 months, 1 week and a few odd days (since our former rector left); or worse yet, 40 years (like those poor Israelites) is simply intolerable, stretching our patience to the brink Most of us would have been right in the middle of those grumblers to poor Moses, asking “Are we there yet? Or in our current situation, “Is he (our new rector) here yet?”
The Psalmist writes, “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” During this time of transition, trusting God and his timing sometimes seems a little like planting our feet firmly in midair. In the midst of the questioning and impatience, I have been reminded of Florence Hudson, the white haired matriarch of my childhood church, who would say, all we can do is “keep on keeping on”. . . and so I do.
Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and writer, (and perhaps a name a bit more familiar to some of you) expressed what it is like to move forward, even in the midst of uncertainty:
“O Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself.
And the fact that I think I am following your will,
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you, does in fact please you,
and I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire to please you.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always,
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death,
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to make my journey alone.”
And so, my friends, we aren’t there yet, but we are getting there. If we trust in God, he will gladden our hearts so we aren’t like those poor Israelites. There is plenty to do to fill the wait time (aka God’s time), so put on your Nikes and just do it. Because, sometimes all we can do is keep on keeping on.
Teresa B. Singer