I think one of the hardest things for me in life is wrapping my head around the fact that this life is not the end goal. It is so easy to forget in a world that promotes the "now" with no regard to the "later". I was reminded of this twice in two days. Repetition is God's highlighter--maybe if I hear it enough, it will sink in.
Today's sermon was about the worshiping disciple. We were reminded (I say reminded, because I think we all knew this in the back of our heads, somewhere. Anyway, it feels like I should have known it...) that God needs to have the place of glory in our lives. That place of glory is the thing we worship. Worship, we were told, doesn't stop when the music stops, nor does it need music to begin. I was struck by the notion that, like prayer, worshiping our Creator is something we should be doing all the time. The concept of doing anything 'without ceasing' is foreign to our minds. People talk a lot, but eventually they need to take a break. They need to sleep, eat, read--whatever. Breathing is something we do without ceasing, but that is even something we can't control. We could stop breathing tomorrow; that doesn't mean the worship stops. I think this is a struggle for some (myself included) because our time lines are so linear.
I'm sorta glad God's time line is different than ours. Though I would love to know just what is coming, when it is coming, and what I need to do in order to be prepared for it, believing and trusting that He has everything perfectly planned takes the pressure off of me. It sounds like a crutch, and maybe it is. But I honestly would rather that than have to worry and plan and force my (tiny) linear plan any where near God's perfect plan.
I was reminded yet again of God's plan and His timing in my devotional Experiencing God Day-by-Day by Henry & Richard Blackaby. On 16 January (for those who might have it), they talk about the story of Abram. God made Abram a promise that his name would be great and that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him (Gen. 12:1-3). Abram had no children, but a promise from God is a promise from God, right? And so, Abram waited on God. The Blackaby's said over the course of 25 years, God shaped and adjusted Abram's character so that it would be exactly right for the task that God had called him to accomplish. A promise that took 25 years?!? Excuse me! That does NOT fit on my time line! Abram had some troubles remembering what God had promised him, but I think when he heard Isaac's first cry he remembered.
I have the same promises to hold on to. I am told I am a child of God, that He has a plan to prosper me, a plan of hope and not a plan to harm me, a way of salvation. He tells me He gives perfect peace, a spirit not of fear but of love, power & a sound mind. He promises to never leave me. I have trouble remembering to worship on an eternal time line; I have trouble remembering that God's time line is different than mine. But now that I am reminded of it, I have to wait. I have to watch. I have to see what God is needing to teach me before His promises come to fruition. Maybe that means waiting for a job, waiting for direction with school, waiting for relationships, waiting for travel plans.
But even now, in all the waiting, I am given another promise: If I wait on God, He will renew my strength. I will run and not get tired. I will walk and not be weary (Isaiah 40:31). Did you notice that the person is going from running to walking? Sometimes life slows us down. But the verse doesn't say they would sit around and not get bored or anything else resembling a noncommittal or apathetic response. The person waiting on God is ACTIVELY waiting on God. They are living in the temporal with their eyes on the eternal.