I’m an ESFP with ADD. I like things to move along at a pretty swift pace. I don’t like glitches in my plans. I am not a fan of detours. I loathe meetings that drag on unnecessarily.
In the terminology of Sue Monk Kidd, I’m a textbook “Quickaholic.”
I recently purchased Ms. Kidd’s book When the Heart Waits from our local library book sale. When I read a non-fiction book, I am an underliner and write-in-the-margins kind of reader. I’m only about twenty pages in and I think I’m going to need a new pen.
The author describes a time of retreat at an Abby. She took a walk and saw a monk sitting very still under a tree, the picture of tranquility. She approached him later and asked how he could sit there and do nothing. Here was his response: “Well, there’s the problem right there…You’ve bought into the cultural myth that when you’re waiting you’re doing nothing…When you’re waiting, you’re not doing nothing. You’re allowing your soul to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait, you can’t become what God created you to be.” (When the Heart Waits, page 22)
I couldn’t read any further. For one, my eyes were full of tears. It was one of those revelatory moments that hits you simultaneously in your gut and brain, taking your breath away.
I get it God.
Those five years I spent out on the farm, caring for a woman who never spoke my name, who never wanted me there, were your plan. It was no different than when you planted your people in a hostile foreign land and told them to put down roots–literally plant and make babies. In that same chapter (Jeremiah 29) you assured them that even though it made no sense, you had a plan.
No sooner had I regained my composure but my cell phone chimed, notifying me of an incoming email. It was from a writer friend. A friend who has been through a painful ministry journey of his own. A friend I contacted recently about a book I thought we could write together. A book about calling, healing, and hope. He wants to do it, is excited about it.
But you knew that God.
When I thought you were doing nothing, that I was doing nothing, you were weaving your plan together.
And none of it happened quickly.
You are never in a hurry.
Loving and long-suffering God, continue to heal me of my tendency to short-cut and short-circuit your plans. Thank you. Keep teaching me and using me. Amen.