By David Wise
Last night our LifeGroup had a summer pool party and it was one of those rich and meaningful nights that I’ll remember for years. The weather was perfect, we swam, goofed off, ate great food, and enjoyed each other’s company. Our group has become incredibly close over the past few months; we’ve shared ups, downs, and everything in-between. Although we didn’t have any scheduled discussion or specific questions, at one point three of us guys ended up outside and had a great conversation.
We were sharing what God has been teaching us lately and one of the guys shared that he’s waiting for December for some personal factors to play out. The other guy asked him what he was going to do in the meantime and the first guy said that he was just going to press on until December came. At this, the other guy dropped a wisdom bomb. He said, “Don’t become so focused on December that you miss everything God is doing in the meantime.” Essentially his encouragement was to pay attention to all of the things God is doing during this season; don’t just live waiting for something better on the horizon. What can happen in only focusing on one event, is that we miss everything else God is doing in the meantime.
I’m sure that’s a concept that many of us have heard, but it’s one that many of us have also forgotten. As a kid I would look forward to Christmas, then as soon as it was over I would look forward to the end of school, then my birthday, and then Christmas again. For years, there were only three events on the calendar that mattered to me. I lived my life waiting for each of those dates, and when each one came and went I waited for the next one.
Maybe you’re looking forward to high school being over in a couple of years. Don’t miss everything God can do in and through you during these years. If you’re looking forward to being done with college and starting a career, pay attention to what God is doing while you’re waiting. Perhaps you’re eagerly expecting a wedding, birth of a child, adoption, birth of a grandchild, or retirement. Don’t become so focused on a date that you neglect to partner with God in everything he’s doing in the here and now.
I was reading a book about leadership and the principle shared made me think about this concept.
I hope that as an emerging next generation leader it is becoming clearer to you what you want to accomplish, what you want to do. The question is: Have you determined what you want to become? Your doing will flow from who you are. The outer man will reflect the inner man. The inner man determines the legacy of the outer man. Andy Stanley, Next Generation Leader, page 154
I hope what you want to do is becoming clear, but how many of us have really thought about what we want to become? It’s not just about what happens in December, two years, ten or even forty years; it’s about who we are becoming through the process. Whatever we’re waiting for, the wait is a part of the process and our reaction to it defines who we become. The Bible is full of wisdom about waiting, and the Psalms are riddled with great words. Psalm 27:13-14 brings hope and reminds me what attitude we should have in times of waiting.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
I will see the goodness of the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Whatever you’re waiting on, don’t lose sight that God is leading you through the process. He is a good and loving God who richly provides us with everything we need. Trust Him in the times of pain, frustration, and discouragement. Don’t neglect the here and now; wait for the Lord and while you’re waiting pray about who God wants you to become, not just what He wants you to do.