I hate waiting.

Patience is a virtue, but we’re seldom told of the agony of waiting required to attain such a virtue. Most everything I read in pop Christianity says (or at least implies) that we need to be actively pursuing what God has for us in difficult times. There’s always something to learn, always some revelation–so they say. What if what we ‘learn’ is that waiting sucks, but by God’s grace seasons change, winter turns to spring, and praise falls on our lips again? What if Qoheleth was right?542011_51968374

Growing up with a teacher for a mother, everything had to be educational, for our benefit and conscious development. She seldom answered my questions and, instead, prompted me to figure it out. Figuring things out requires tenacity and access to enough information so as to bring the puzzle pieces together. Sometimes you just want to know, especially when there are only a few of the pieces in sight. It also felt as though I was always behind, always missing something, always two steps behind.

If life is merely a series of lessons, and the Christian life a series of Sunday schools, that just isn’t good enough for me. I cannot believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection were units of some cosmic primary school curriculum. The trials he endured on the earth were not ‘instructive’ to the disciples until Jesus showed his resurrected self to them. Millennia later, we don’t have the benefit of seeing him in his resurrected body (yet). We’re left with teachings, instead, which so many have reduced to a series of moral guidelines. But Jesus’ instruction was to follow, not sit down and reflect upon an essay question or do some mathematical problem solving.

In a time of waiting, all I can do is ask Jesus to be here with me, to sit with me, pray with and for me, to listen to the desires of my heart. Then, at the time when God in Christ says, Now, may he grant me the strength and love and joy and simply the energy to move and change and grow. Like a seed pushing aside soil to reach light.

As I write this, “After the Storm,” by Mumford & Sons plays in the background, reminding me of the wonder of spring time, of how alive the world feels after tumult, wind and rain. Is that how the earth felt when it was new?