Monday, September 27, 2010

This is For Those Who Wait

This theme has been heavy on my mind for a while now and seems to be constantly coming up, and I figure that if that is the case, I should really probably write it out. I am a little surprised I haven’t written this post earlier.

The last morning I was in Colorado last month, we went to church. It was a gray morning, only 62 degrees-- the perfect morning for letting the wind rush in from an open car window as we drove. Pike’s Peak was obscured by fog, but I could see enough of the mountains to be content, and we had the radio playing. Colorado Springs actually has a variety of radio stations, unlike East Texas, including a good Christian rock station. As we were driving, the song For Those Who Wait by Fireflight came on.

I know the song very well, and it felt right for that moment. As the title implies, the song speaks of waiting, of feeling stuck and trapped in a moment that doesn’t seem to end. It also speaks of purpose, of the promise of movement and change. That promise was a part of what I had been given in Colorado, and it was echoed now as I prepared to go back to waiting.

Because that is where I am, and where I have been for two years, and where I will be for another two years: waiting for a change. Waiting for a choice. Waiting for a moment when I can take steps I’ve wanted for so long.

And this is a different sort of theme than what I usually write about. I like to talk about movement and change and passion and courage. Those are the things that are starting to make sense. But it is undeniable that there are moments in life when, for whatever reason, we want to step out and we believe we are ready, but instead we are asked to wait. Whether it’s enduring a long and seemingly endless search for a job, or longing to get out of high school or college, or wanting to move away from home and find independence, or waiting for God to change that one impossible situation that has never seemed to be resolved... I think we all find places where we are waiting. We are not always given an answer for why, not right away at least. We might pray and beg and plead and feel sure that we have done everything we need to, but still God says “wait.”

I have developed a theory on how I should respond to these times. Usually the reaction I have is either anger or hopelessness. Which is a little odd, because if God has put me in a place where I am waiting, and that is really where I have to be, then I know He has a purpose and thus it’s not hopeless. I can have hope that now is not forever. Hope that things will change.

And more than that, there are things that can be accomplished during the silent times. There is time then to grow stronger and learn to burn brighter. There is time to hear new songs and listen to new stories-- songs and stories that never would have been heard if not for the time of standing still to listen.

I think it is worthwhile to reach and to learn and to try to accomplish things, even if we are trapped in a place we wouldn’t have chosen. I believe this because I think those times are when we are equipped for the things that will come after, when movement comes again. I don’t know what God will do with my life. But I know that for now, I am striving to learn and to grow so that when the time comes, I will be ready for whatever I am asked to do. Just because we are waiting now does not mean that waiting has to be the total of who we are. There is so much to learn. We are not defined by our cages.

At least, I have come to understand that I am not defined by college. I may be waiting for two more years... that’s two more years to learn everything I can from my classes, from the people around me, and even from the act of enduring. And that’s two years where I have the time to do things like go to dozens of concerts and travel all over to see friends... things I won’t be able to do as easily once I am no longer stationary.

The courage and strength of a soldier are not built in battle, but rather in the years of training beforehand. The battle is the testing point of things built in silence... and the fight could not be won without the wearying days and months and years that come beforehand.

And of course I’m not advocating complacency with this post, or suggesting that it is right to sit back and settle into where we are. If you want my opinion on apathy, see pretty much every other post on this blog. My point is that when life falls silent around you, it’s the perfect time to learn how to sing. How else will your voice be strong enough to be heard even once the noise kicks in again?

I want to open up my eyes, I know that all I need is time. I'm growing stronger every single day... The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger. The hard lessons make the difference. - Fireflight

(Oh, and by the way? It’s 586 days until I graduate from college. The goal is to be alive, rather than just living, for every single one of them. That’s part of a concept I’ve come to call thriving... something I learned somewhere between touching down in Denver and listening to For Those Who Wait in the car on a foggy Sunday morning.)

- Elraen, Wandering Star -


Rachael Selk said...

I love you Elrean! It alwas makes me smile when I read about you. Even though you're having strugles in life, you are growing into such a godly person that I am learning from and am glad to call my friend. *hugs*

MangyCat said...

Such wise words you write every single time you post here on your blog. These are profound lessons you are learning, and it is my hope that many others will learn from your shining life experience.

{word verification for this comment: bless} Yes, indeed!