Blog – Lessons from The Holy Land – Part 2 – Newark, A Lesson in Delays

Sometimes we wait. Tonight is one of those times. It’s not because of anything that we – the paying passengers did. It is due to an error. Someone messed up or someone made a bad choice. Only three of the four necessary pilots for this long international flight showed up. So we wait.

Some people were more upset than others. Most were disappointed but O.K. Some were even already on the plane and had to de-board.

Doesn’t this all sound familiar. It sounds a lot like life. All of us are headed on a journey. Some of us are even on the same plane. It’s a huge plane. The gate area is packed. Every race, age, size, and religion is probably right here. Very seldom do this many people from this many different backgrounds have to pause at the same time in the same place for this length of time.

Waiting… Sometimes life just puts on the brakes. Sometimes God says wait. A flat tire, a traffic jam, an illness, a scheduling error, a special occasion, a prayer, a breathtaking moment, a brief pause. There are even times when we are already “on the plane” fully engaged in the journey and

God calls us back to re-group and re-start. Is our reaction to be angry and frustrated or is it to look around and see what God is doing, checking our surroundings for His plan. Is there an opportunity He has opened that needs our service, a danger ahead that He needs us to avoid, a time of rest, a pause to experience His beauty, or possibly an important lesson to learn?

All of us who have lived a few years know that there will be bumps in the road; a few unscheduled delays. Sometimes there will be long seasons of waiting and wondering what the future holds. But the destination is still ahead. We will travel again. The plane will once again speed down the runway and we will be on our way. We may be on the same road, but we certainly have different journeys. Arrival at the end is guaranteed although the destination will not be the same for everyone.

As I sit at the airport in Newark, NJ, the Holy Spirit gives me a little twinge in my soul. Could it be that the times of waiting are just as important as the times of activity? Could it be that the moments of stillness are necessary for the success of the journey? Could it be that all the things written in my planner are not the most important things?

So, right here in the airport, before my Holy Land Journey has even really begun, God teaches. I will try my best not to be impatient when God says to wait. I will appreciate and make the most of the stillness. I will not get angry when other people create a glitch in my planner.I will treat those glitches as opportunities to trust my God who has the best plan for me.

This all sounds great…but how? How do we appreciate and make the most of the unplanned glitches that seem to come?

Step 1 – Pause before reacting. Take a breath. Scripture says “Be still and know that I am God”. Psalm 46:10 Nothing happens to us, His children, without His knowledge. He is God and I AM NOT…neither are you. I am so thankful!

Step 2 – Trust that God will work this period of waiting, this change of plans for good. Romans 8:28 He doesn’t say everything that comes to us will be good. But that He will work in all things to bring good as a result either for us or for others who are His children.

Step 3 – Look around. Be keenly aware of your surroundings and be observant. Where is God working? Has he stopped the plane at a location where He needs your service? What are the needs surrounding you? Where are the opportunities at this very moment to show the light of Christ through you?

Step 4 – Be willing to wait patiently for God’s guidance but be equally as willing to act. I love the mental picture of a rodeo horse that is ready to run the barrel racing course. The horse waits obediently but its ears are forward and alert, its eyes are focused, and every muscle is ready. When the rider gives the slightest nudge that horse is out into the arena full speed ahead. Be ready for action! When God says go there should be no hesitation.

Step 5 – Enjoy the adventure. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than you ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  I’m sure God looks and my planner/calendar and yours and just smiles and shakes His head.

So when God puts the brakes on our lives, when he pauses the progress of our calendars or completely changes our plans, let’s wait without grumbling. We will reaffirm our belief that His plans are much bigger than we could ever dream and we will trust Him. We will be keenly aware of the opportunities He has placed in front of us during this season of the pause. We will not run ahead of Him but will be ready to act when He calls. We will enjoy the adventure.

Are you ready?